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Underground Swiss Mountain Retreat Peeks Out From the Terraced Stone Hillside
Call it natural minimalism – the über site-appropriate design is realized in large part through the dry stacked stone walls which tame the landscape and provide a natural façade. The exterior walls add to the existing stone terraces, built up through the decades and centuries.
Two picture windows are inserted into the wall at either end of the small home. One provides the living space with a dramatic view, while the other offers a more intimate connection with the surroundings. Interior walls consist of the raw concrete that the supports the subterranean volume. Since the home is inset into the hillside, it is kept naturally cool and requires much less energy to heat.
The project’s clever layout is set parallel with the landscape – walls angle out of the hillside and then back in again, making the home’s profile virtually indistinguishable from the existing topography. From a distance the ribbon of stone walls is left completely intact; if you didn’t know the house was there you could easily skip right by it while scanning across the hillside. The walkout may be the best part – the backdrop of dry stacked stone walls creates an intimate rapport with the home’s surroundings.
Photographs © Thomas Jantscher
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