Chalet DAL by Ralph Germann Architectes

This modern chalet situated in Valais, Switzerland, was completely redesigned in 2011 by Ralph Germann Architectes.

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Description by Ralph Germann Architectes

Originally, the chalet was just a simple barn, located outside a village in the canton of Valais (Switzerland) on an exceptional site. The retreat of a glacier had left behind an amazing flora and fauna, where a rare species of red grasshopper found its home.

In 1975, a first renovation transformed the barn into a family chalet. Years later the daughter of the owners who had spent many happy childhood holidays at the chalet, wished to transform the chalet as a habitable contemporary space for daily living.

The original project by Ralph Germann to envelop the chalet from the outside to ensure optical insulation was refused by the cantonal building commission. As a consequence, the owners and architect decided to insulate the building from the inside. A wooden box, built from larch wood, was inserted into the chalet’s walls. The outside of the chalet was thus hardly touched, only the windows were modified to open up to the spectacular views of the surroundings. They were also adapted with a special glass that makes use ofLoading…
the passive heat.

Design information

As soon as one enters the chalet, one is immediately captured by the coherent, refined, almost monastic atmosphere. A white ceiling accentuates the lightness of the space. Using only one type of wood, namely larch, for the walls and custom made furniture visually enlarges the otherwise rather small space of 60m2. For the furniture, a veneer version of larch wood was used giving them thus a more sophisticated look than the raw larch wood used for the walls and floors.

The space in the chalet is efficiently used. Cupboards without handles are situated in the kitchen and bedroom areas. At the entrance, a suspended bench allows not only to comfortable sit down but also hides cleverly shoes.

The minimalist look was continued when the owners and Ralph Germann choose together the remaining furnishings: Panton chairs, table Lim, sofa Togo and lamps Artemide.

The chalet was designed for a couple without children and is separated into two distinct areas. living-room kitchen area and bedroom.

The bedroom opens with a large sliding bay window directly to a small terrace.

Kitchen and living room area are merged together. Special attention was given to the design of the windows allowing the owners to take in the spectacular surrounding nature.

Photography by Lionel Henriod

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- by Matt Watts