A farmhouse, abandoned years ago and surrounded by uncontaminated fields, woods and orchards, themselves left untended and uncultivated, are the first striking impressions of a site visit with the client wanting to transform and bring back to life this alpine settlement.
In these places, in those rooms, time stood still and one felt catapulted back in time 60 years. In this idyllic and almost paralyzing state, the task was to jump start the time machine and weave together a new narrative of different voices: the obdurate visions of the new residents, the bold reverence of the architects, and the skillful stubbornness of the local artisans.
Landmann farmhouse whose origins date back to the 1600s is comprised of four hectares of predominantly terraced ground with dry-stone walls and two flanking structures of the characteristic pairing together of house and barn. The house is a plastered stone construction with an imposing wooden roof while the barn is an all-wood construction atop a stone base.
The intervention had to therefore take on the vastness of the site and the fragility of the existing structures. The house was renovated to become the main living quarters for the core family and to accommodate the client’s wheelchair accessibility needs, while the barn was demolished to become in its place a new multi-generational, multi-unit house.
The decision to separate the longstanding siblings (framhouse and barn) and establish a new fraternal relationship was the most difficult aspect of the design, solved by a new timber construction that followed the slope of the terrain, taking cues from the original barn house, but accentuating its characteristics to become something of its own.
The new construction is an all wooden construction, with a wedge-shaped wooden roof that conjures all that swirls around monomaterial construction only to reveal its main elevation as a flat profile outlining the house—an iconic mask of the image of the pitched roof house, and in dialog with the wooden roof of the old, flanking farmhouse.
A new rural building with the necessary stall and storage space was built nearby the original nucleus and connected by a subterranean passageway carved into the bedrock and accessed by a double tiered, underground parking garage. These three structures are connected aboveground by a series of ramps, stairs and terraces all realized in the natural stone quarried from the site.