In a location as picturesque as Vals, Switzerland, it’s difficult to imagine any new construction that wouldn’t impose on the beautiful landscape. So when the rare opportunity was granted to construct a new dwelling just a stone’s throw away from the famed Vals thermal baths, it was of paramount importance to not disturb the tranquil site. Designed by the architects of SeArch and Christian Müller, this underground house exemplifies the notion that thoughtfully constructed buildings can live in harmony with their surrounding environs.
Situated in the Swiss village of Vals deep in the mountains, the house is almost undetectable. Set below ground, the concrete structure features a wide oval opening that one arrives at via a set of stones steps embedded in the steep incline. At the top of the stairs a central patio is surrounded by a wide spanning façade formed of large window openings, which provide luminous reflections of the Alpine vista on the opposite side of the narrow valley.