Hiding in plain sight is exactly what this mini shelter in the Swiss Alps is doing. From a distance, you can't even pick out which rock is actually the shelter, which was designed and built by Geneva-based firm Bureau A. Inspired by the writings of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, Bureau A built a mini house complete with bed, table, fireplace and writing desk, then covered it in cement to make it look like a giant rock. Now the shelter, named Antoine, precariously sits on the side of a mountain in a landscape of rock fall in Switzerland. Can you pick it out from a distance?
Through a 6 week residency with Verbier 3d Foundation, André Bloc and Claude Parent of Bureau A designed and built the micro shelter which they call Antoine. They were inspired by the writings of Swiss writer, Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, specifically the novel Derborence, which describes the massive rock fall that covered the pastures of the valley of Lizerne in 1714. In the novel, the main characater, Antoine survives for seven weeks under the rocks before finally making his way back to the village. From this, they designed and built a shelter that blends into the natural landscape of a rocky alpine setting.
Antoine is small wooden cabin that is camouflaged to look like a giant rock and is also a reference to the Swiss tradition of hiding bunkers in the landscape. Inside, visitors will find a fire place, a bed, a table, a stool, and a couple of small windows. The basic amenities could provide for someone who is lost in the mountains or could serve someone seeking solitude. The exterior of the wooden cabin was outfitted with rods and then covered in cement to resemble a giant boulder. Once built, the structure was trucked up into the mountains and set on a slope along the path between La Chaux and Ruinettes. Bikers, hikers and skiers regularly pass it without ever knowing it is there.
Images ©Dylan Perrenoud