La Casetta

Segnas, Switzerland
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Rasmus Norlander
Photo © Bearth Lenn SA
Drawing © Atelier SCHMIDT
Drawing © Atelier SCHMIDT
Drawing © Atelier SCHMIDT
Architects
Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH
Address
Via Sut Vitg 14, 7186 Segnas, Switzerland
Year
2020
Cost
100K - 1M
Stories
1-5 Stories

The village of Segnas is located in Graubünden and is listed in the federal inventory of buildings worthy of protection as a village image of national importance. High spatial qualities result from the dense arrangement of the buildings in rows parallel to the slope along two access axes. Within this core zone, the young local client was able to acquire a small stable on a 31 m2 plot. The existing building volume could be built in accordance with local building laws and redesigned as a single-family house.

At the same time, the requirements of the monument preservation had to be met for careful handling of the new building fabric in the protected village center. The big challenge was to use the limited space as efficiently as possible. The core of the new single-family house is a cross-laminated timber tower that connects the mezzanine floors and takes on various functions at the same time. The wooden element tower serves as a room divider, stair tower, riser zone, chimney, pellet store and houses built-in cupboards and shelves across all floors. At the same time, the tower takes on the static function of a support and transfers the loads from the ridge purlin into the ground. This concentration of use allows the residents to freely use the rest of the space.

Large glass surfaces bring a lot of light into the house and allow exceptional alpine views. At the same time, thanks to their positioning, they prevent the outsider from seeing intimate views despite the dense arrangement of the buildings in the center of the village. The Hofstattrecht prevents the building from being raised and so the underground rooms also had to be designed to be usable and attractive. A glass floor cutout on the ground floor allows daylight to reach into the basement. Despite a total living space of only 55 m2, the rooms appear spacious. The eye of the beholder can see the entire length of the building through the open staircase, which makes the rooms appear larger.

The shingles made of local spruce cover the entire building and integrate it into the historic village center. The visible rafters and the simple tin roof are reminiscent of the former stable. The polished concrete tub protrudes over the terrain and beyond the facade and protects the shingles from vehicles and damage. Thanks to the small plot of land and the small volume of the building, a single-family house could be built for the price of a small apartment.

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