Located in Rechy Valais, Switzerland and designed by Archi7, the inner core of the home is clad in OSB panels as an economical material that acts both as structural cross bracing and as the finishing material. The OSB panels create an industrial surround that is further enhanced by the concrete flooring – which also serves the double duty of retaining heat from the fireplace and slowly releasing it after the fire has gone out. While the palette of the concrete and OSB is neutral and pale, the architects have used bold swaths of color blocking to bring a youthful energy and vibrancy into the otherwise industrial volumes.
While situated in a rural setting with lush mountain views, the home is also on a small village plot with neighbours close at hand and the street just a few feet away. For this reason Archi7 presented a standard gabled facade with an overhang for the carport over the entrance.
Even though the home is practically touching the village road, the back of the home faces a large and uninterrupted pasture that contradicts the hustle and bustle in the opposite direction.
With pastures in one direction and a neighbour just a few feet away in the other, Archi7 cleverly designed the home with a central void that looks out to the views but remains separated from the close proximity of its neighbour.
There are also neighbours on the mountainside, but they are a little further away, offering a semblance of privacy to the upper deck. On the side with the neighbour close at hand, the home is kept closed and private.
While the interior of the home features walls of OSB panels, the exterior is clad in meleze, a durable and cost effective local form of wood.
Oriented to take advantage of solar contribution – and views, the prefab home uses a double flux ventilation system, which allows for continual air exchange without energy loss caused by the need to open windows during the winter months. While contemporary in construction, the building still melds within the rural characteristics of its small town setting.
Although the home does not need to open its windows and doors for ventilation, on a sunny day what better way to bring the outdoors inside then to throw the windows wide open and sit on the deck.
Just inside the deck is a Jack and Jill office / craft room fitted with a wall of purple doors and natural wood handles. The juxtaposition of the purple against the mountain views is a bold choice that works brilliantly within the context of the home.
A second office is located upstairs with a private entrance off of the Master Bedroom. This room does not use any colour blocking on its wall but does feature boldly coloured doors that lead to the stairwell zone.
Those boldly coloured doors are a bright citrus yellow and the saturated citrus continues onto the pony wall and down the staircase on one side an intense shade of violet with purple trim is used on the other.
The Purple and Citrus are the colours of choice within this volume and each colour is used within the stairwell and on the doors. This combination of OSB in a natural finish, combined with concrete flooring and bold colours creates a space full of rhythmic intensity that would have been overpowering if not for the large skylight above the stairwell. The skylight not only floods the space with light but also offers a third dimension of colour from the sky itself. At the base of the stairs, the purple entry doors feature panels of glazing to light up the areas the skylight cannot reach.
The colours and angles from the closed balustrades and the skylight creates an abstract art form when viewed from below.
The two upstairs bathrooms also feature skylights for lighting. There are no windows in the two rooms and each is painted a bright white.
Above the carport, a room cantilevers out and features the same purple doors and wall sections seen upstairs, but it also features a frosted glass door that leads to a third washroom.
The room above the carport is accessed by a short flight of concrete steps.
The choice of colours used within the inner core of the home create a vibrant whimsical energy with modern overtones that is a direct contradiction to the neighbourhood, but the splashes of colour are so carefully placed that from the outside they are barely visible.
Photography by Thomas Jantscher