Swiss architecture studio Frundgallina has completed a full overhaul of a small, run-down chalet in the Swiss Jura Mountains and transformed it into a playful, off-grid home.
Because local regulations prohibit invasive construction within the site, the architects kept the exterior dimensions of the original structure intact, but took a revolutionary approach to the interior layout.
To ensure all four sides of the house were positioned to take in views of the natural landscape, the team divided the interiors into four sections that were about 86 square feet each. The four sections were then set at various heights to guarantee easy access from outside.
"This resulted in a rich, spatial variety achieved mostly by the change in floor-to-ceiling height. The effect is that of large steps turning around a central axis. Three of the four floors have two different levels creating a total of seven specific spaces," says Antonio Gallina, a founder of the firm.
The spatial variations created by the different heights results in a series of "rooms" connected to each other by small, medium, or large thresholds. This configuration allows for a fun, spiral stroll throughout the chalet.
The team of architects have designed this off-the-grid chalet to be 100-percent energy efficient.
"This construction explores the different themes that characterize our architecture: simplicity and homogeneity of shapes, spatial richness and variety, uniformity and expressive singularity, as well as calmness, softness, and lightness emanating from formal composition," adds Gallina.