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Prefab Swiss Alps House Designed to Look Like Boulder

Montebar Villa by JM Architecture, located in Medeglia, Switzerland, was designed in accordance with the local building codes that require each house to have a dark grey pitched roof for integration into the landscape from a distance. JM Architecture took it one step further and designed the home with an all grey facade of porcelain stoneware tiles that where even used on the door and window shutters so that the home would look like a boulder from a distance.

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Although the home is covered in porcelain stoneware tiles, it is a prefabricated home constructed with prefabricated and thermally insulated wood elements.

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When the shutters are open, the home still resembles a boulder but one with several large vertical swathes of light reflection.

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Built on site, the prefabricated units meant Montebar Villa was assembled in just a few days.

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Both the roof and 3 of the perimeter walls have 22cm of thermal insulation and a double layer of ventilation. The final cladding of porcelain tiles are installed with an invisible fastening system.

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The fourth perimeter wall is the south elevation which is covered in glazings to make the most of the 180 degree views of the Swiss Alps, the valley below and the vineyards that are at the edge of the slope.

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The south facing facade is designed with a void that contains an outdoor, sheltered terrace.

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Adding to the energy efficiency of the home, the glass facade has a curtain wall with thermally broken aluminum horizontal profiles and vertical glass fins and with insulated selective and low-e glass.

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The interior of the home has the same simplicity of design as the exterior and incorporates such energy efficient systems as radiant floor heating.

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During the summer natural ventilation draws cool air from the creek on the west side of the home and in the winter the four-season sun exposure contributes passive heating.

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LED lights are used throughout Montebar Villa.

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The main living area is on the south facing side of the home to take advantage of the views. 3 bedrooms, a study, 2 bathrooms, a laundry room, technical, pantry and storage rooms are all positioned further back in the home but all on the same level with the exception of the 2 children’s bedrooms which are double height and include a bed and TV loft.

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The roof is 6 sided and has been designed to have the largest side with the same inclination as the mountain slope to integrate more completely into the landscape.

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The facades where designed tile by tile using 3 different formats, many of the tiles even have mitered edges and the tiles on the shutters have been book-matched to the rest of the facade.

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Prefab home layout.

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JM Architecture.
Photography courtesy of JM Architecture.
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If you like the idea of prefab homes and you also like the idea of a home blending into its surrounding landscape, you will love the prefab modular homes designed to be covered with grass.

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