Menuiserie-Agencement Jeanneret sàrl, Spinedi Construction, fag toiture
Text description provided by the architects. The project replaces a small dilapidated construction of the 1960s and strictly respects its original exterior dimensions, a legal requirement to protect the Swiss Jura Mountains from all invasive constructions. To address the breath-taking landscape of equal beauty from all sides, the building area has been divided into four identical portions of about eight square meters. These four floors have then been placed at different chosen heights to ensure their accessibility from the outside. This results in a rich spatial variety achieved mostly by the change in floor-to-ceiling height. The effect is that of large steps turning around a central axis. Three of the four floors have two different levels creating a total of seven specific spaces.
These “rooms” are connected to each other by large, medium or small openings but stay separated from each other by strongly-felt thresholds.This allows a playful spiral tour of the house whilst continuously guaranteeing viewpoints of the whole interior space from every corner. Thus, both linked and separated, these living spaces are perceived as smaller houses in the bigger one.
A small and a large window are placed on each facade, as well as a double door opening to the outside. Cutting the walls at different heights, they reveal the principle of the interior spatial arrangement. Only the ridge of the two-sided roof directs the house. Otherwise, the chalet does not have a specific address or entrance; or rather, it benefits from four different ones. Accordingly, one enters and exits most of the rooms from and to the outdoors, integrating the pastures as a spatial sequence.
The cabin is built entirely of wood. Fir planks from the Jura forests, rough-sawn outside and planed inside, are nailed vertically to the supporting structure of the facades and interior walls. The same planks, this time grooved and ridged, cover the joisting to become floor and ceiling. A single sheet of stainless steel, folded specifically, covers the roof like a sheet of paper, thus reinforcing the fragile nature of the object. A gutter is placed on one side of the roof to harvest rainwater.
The chalet is a hundred percent self-sufficient in energy and is not connected to any distribution network.This construction explores the different themes that characterise our architecture: simplicity and homogeneity of shapes, spatial richness and variety, uniformity and expressive singularity, as well as calmness, softness and lightness emanating from formal composition.