Like the surrounding Alps, this house feels timeless and rugged, overwhelming yet peaceful – a fitting retreat from urban life in the small sprawling city of Locarno below.
The section from Markus Wespi & Jérôme de Meuron architects tells the overarching story of mass and materiality, while photos by Hannes Henz fill the in experiential details step by stone step.
Stones and more stones form stairs, walls, floors and roofs throughout, matched in austere simplicity by a series of simple wooden built-ins, window frames and sliding grid-panel doors.
On the entry level, a shaft of natural light illuminates a large open volume, which in turn channels the residents (or guests) into the mountainside, up a flight of stairs and back out into more private primary dwelling spaces.
The wedge-formed, stone-surrounded pool sits atop the pinched pair of entrance areas, shaping and shaped by these angular zones and providing amazing views back out beyond the property, but all tied into private courtyards and intimate staircases hidden behind stony facades.