Atelier Bardill / Valerio Olgiati

© Courtesy of

Architect: Valerio Olgiati
Location: Scharans,
Collaborators: Nathan Ghiringhelli (project manager office Olgiati), Nikolai Müller, Mario Beeli
Client: Linard Bardill, musician + poet
Construction Supervisor: Linard Bardill
Structural Engineer: Patrick Gartmann, partner of Conzett, Bronzini, Gartmann AG, Chur
Project Area: 285 sqm
Project Year: 2006-2007
Photographs: Courtesy of Valerio Olgiati

© Courtesy of Valerio Olgiati

The Atelierhouse Bardill replaces an old barn in the protected centre of the village Scharans. The building permission was granted by the local authorities only under the condition that the new building would have exactly the same volume as the old barn.

© Courtesy of Valerio Olgiati

The client, Linard Bardill, who lives in a house a very short walking distance away from the site, needed only one single space, a room to work in. This working space occupies not even a third of the stipulated volume. The rest of it constitutes a courtyard that is monumentalized by a huge round opening to the sky. This is where the house expresses greatness and clearness in contrast to the arbitrary geometry of its external appearance and to the small-scale environment of the village.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Atelier Bardill / Valerio Olgiati" 05 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Kevin

    i kinda like this. empty volume is refreshing sometimes. although, the small motifs all over the walls are odd.

  • hZ!

    I very much like that skewed staircase. How thoughtful of them to have understood how mean would have been a wall-hugging, industrial-looking stair, there.
    I agree about the motifs, thinking how solid and impactful such a compact shape in such a serious colour would have looked without the levity that flowery little shape imparts- but it might have looked too sinister and uncompromising; this motif echoes the curvatures of the curtains and the shape of that bollard/water pump thing that’s nearby. Other buildings around it have window boxes with flowers; this has wallflowers. It’s humorous. The stratified cladding works well in context too, diplomatically.

  • L_park

    I cant find anything interesting in this warehouse. Even the round skylight cant help.

    • Ralph Kent

      “I can’t find anything interesting in this warehouse”

      Crickey. I wonder what some people are looking for in their buildings. Having visited it I find this studio sublimely beautiful, from the materiality to the quality of the motifs, to the way in which the form poetically works within the planning laws (the reason it is an open barn form is because the planning laws specified the existing volume had to be replicated. I find a huge amount to admire in this building. Understated, crafted, elegant, leaving a beautiful legacy. If you are in that neck of the woods, the owner generously opens it for visits on Friday afternoons.

      • ozmoto

        ….. whatever.

  • Dear Architect

    Excellent work. Does anyone know how they applied the iron rust over the poured concrete?, the same appearance as a project from Pezo von Ellrichshausen but with cooper rust over the concrete I believe.

    • abu

      Been there. It’s a standard red iron oxide they put into the mix. The rest is just weathering. To achieve the translucent colouring of the Pezo von Ellrichshausen project I would use a silicate binder + pigment.

  • up_today_arch

    too much rust color inside… imagin it in cloudy autumn evening… shape of this building is nice, but the color is horrible

  • archZonos

    Few years ago I visited this heritage village and saw this house. Excellent example how it is possible to do something new in the protected area. I like it very much.

  • rusting concrete

    its small metal crust mixed in the concrete.

  • Fudge

    I really like how that single aperture allows a glimpse into the grand empty courtyard. It really adds to the mystique of the building. I also agree that the pattern is a necessary component for softening the harsh monolithic nature of the structure. The building has a certain intrigue and allure.

  • rupalauste

    Valerio Olgiati is Valerio Olgiati.

  • arnold

    I can not find the attractiveness and charm in this building. the buiding is very gloomy and is similar to, between, bunker and factory warehouse.

    that is the point of this project? that architect and this client wanted to say to architectural, human and urban surrounding?

    the building interior and exterior is like XXI century bunker concept in the Swiss city.

    well, exterior has some kind interest as very unusual arch.structure in the urban city area, especialy in Switzerland; but interior.. these people are realy crazy.

    • Ralph Kent

      I think the photos don’t really do this justice. Its not in a city or urban at all, its in a small village called Scharans in the Graubunden. The form is derived out of the shape of the pre-existing barn which planning laws specified had to be replicated. It is not gloomy at all there, it is very light. The flower motif isn’t an attempt as some sort of joviality, its is a refernce to the ornamentation you get in this region (sgraffito).

      I guess this is the risk we all run of judging a project from (some not great) photos?

      are some of my photos. not saying they are better….

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    • Spanky

      Well… if he doesn’t…. at least now we have a place to put him.

      • good one



        I agree! Would that really be a pity?

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  • arnold

    To mr.Ralph Kent,
    yes, I agree with You, after nice and soft Your arguments.
    But if it’s moder replica of pre-existing barn, why don’t they put into this site barn foto; the context and Idea of this protect would be more understandable.

    well, anyway before to criticize smth, I thing at first you need to see positive and negative sides of this “object”.

    In this building pozitive:
    - realy strong and clear interesting-original arch.form/shape;
    - the exterior color is closed to existing old houses and I think to pre-existing barn too;
    - the house has realy many concept forms or ideas;
    - in this place this building looks very strong, smth like big arch.sculpture;
    - and so..

    Anyway, the individual opinion belongs from many factors. If you like unusual, strong, mature and a bit shock concept ideas, this house will really like. From this point of view I understand the good points of this house.

    But.. I can see and negative points of this building. This building was built by contrast/nuance principle; and it built really good. But.. the surrounding (in photos) is a bit gloomy; and in this places I would erect smth light, smth soft, smth bright.. Smth, that could warm up this place.

    Of course, maybe I’m wrong, that everything (the context) decide from these given photos.

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  • Valerio Olgiati

    Dear admirers,

    I love you all…
    but all the negative guys should go to hell !

    Hello from Olgiati

    • peter zumthor

      H8RS gonna H8.

      keepin’ it real innit

  • Herzog de Meuron

    We wish we could be as great as Olgiati….

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  • Luís Fraga de Sousa

    Herzog you are right…
    All the jealous go to hell!