Friday, December 14, 2012
Formerly only used in the summer for sheltering both men and beasts, this old Swiss mountain chalet was not only charmingly rustic, but full of drafts, too. Its present owner, architect Charles Pictet, has carefully renovated it for habitation year round, adding both light and comfort while retaining the character of his retreat.
In the old kitchen, the age-darkened walls and floors date from 1872, the year the chalet was built. The fireplace's wide block masonry radiates heat throughout the cabin. The dining room, originally the barn where the animals were kept, has been completely redesigned, with its walls glazed with pure cement and stained with iron oxide — the larch buffet and table were designed by Charles Pictet. Located at the rear of the cabin, the new kitchen has been designed with the same fidelity to materials and tones, with custom-made larch cabinets, anthracite polished cement work surfaces and floors that echo the soot-darkened tones of the original kitchen. To gain brightness in the food prep area without altering the exterior, Charles devised long windows that slide into wood studs. Upstairs, several small rooms can be created by sliding walls, allowing not only different views, but warmth, too — opened up by day, the sleep areas can be closed up by night to retain heat. Minimalist in approach, it's a space that allows for a simple way of living, one appropriate to a home so close to nature. Via Marie Claire Maison.
(photography by philippe garcia)