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Quality architecture is represented by buildings that are innovative, amazing and inspiring. This project though meets new standards in terms of adapting to the landscape and reaches the area of one of a kind architecture, something never seen before, exciting and provocative.
Have you ever thought how it would be like to live in a bunker or an underground tunnel? Most people would say “no way “, but today we ‘re presenting an underground house in which most of the people, including myself, would enjoy at least a peaceful couple of days or more. Situated in the Swiss village of Vals, the house was created by Search and Christian Muller Architects. Deep into the mountains, the project is hard to spot because of it ‘s descended development, also it’ s a discreet but radical contemporary project, hiding among some more conservative ones. This gesture of “hiding” the building was the one that stood at the base of the design as making this building as “embedded in the landscape” as possible was a must because of the proximity of the notorious thermal baths. Furthermore, the designers willingly denied the look of a typical residential project. Instead, they opted for a structure that is entirely under the ground, unseen and mysterious. The only visible part of this one of a kind project is the front facade; finished in stone and featuring aleatory placed and designed forms, it resembles mountain peaks, a random and natural design, lacking the artificial feel of a very organised architectural composition. The facade is arc shaped and because of that the building integrates better in the landscape but it also gives it a more dramatic appearance, surprising and unexpected. The front patio is slightly obstructed from views by the lateral slopes that converge in the middle, giving privacy in a very discrete and instinctive way. Furthermore, it increases the feel of this one of a kind projects’s views of the amazingly beautiful mountains on the other side of the valley; it’s like a photo frame.
Because more than half of the building is underground, the front facade is filled with glass, to provide light inside. All the rooms seem comfortable and homey despite the cold aspect of the walls (raw cement). Actually, the walls and the environment, from furniture to accessories, create an interesting contrast between cold an warm, between hostile and safe. Inspired by the beautiful underground homes of the hobbits from the Lord of the Rings movie, I think this project is both discreet and radical, making it a great “cool ” home to live in. A dream home. We have previously featured a similar project on our website: Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse in Dietikon, Switzerland by Vetsch Architektur.
Image courtesy to Iwan Baan