- City: Provence
- Country: Switzerland
Text description provided by the architects. La Sylvabelle is a sister to the nearby La Rochelle and occupies the hollow of a valley near the village of Provence, on the site of an old boarding house that replaced a mill. The project is part of a continuous history of successive demolitions and reconstructions that have characterised this place since the Middle Ages.
The new building takes up the layout and size of the existing building, which it extends to the south, deforming to fit the topography of the site. It thus follows the curve of the access road and preserves the surface of the esplanade open to the east. The upper floors house the bedrooms while the ground floor contains the offices and communal areas, on the same level as the esplanade. The central distributive space absorbs the deformations of the plan, expanding to the façade to form the entrance hall, dining room, living rooms and stairwells. The only vertical feature of the project, the main triangular staircase takes on a majestic and symbolic dimension at the heart of the building.
The architectural treatment and the materiality of the building seek analogies with the rural constructions of the region (socle, flat tiles, eaves, plastered masonry, modest openings, window frames ...). It differs, however, in the treatment of details and the integration of contemporary construction elements.