Zurich-based architecture studio Camponovo Baumgartner Architekten have recently completed the refurbishment of an old barn in Reckingen, a small town in a mountain valley in the south of Switzerland. This 100 year-old structure — a listed historical building in the region — was converted into a weekend house without destroying the original façade.
Structurally, each of the barn's original two units feature a traditional layout: a lower floor, formerly used to house animals, and an upper floor, formerly used as a hay loft.
The architects kept this structural division, and conceived the new weekend house as a building inside the hay lofts. The inner walls are twice detached from the outer shell, developing two non-heated alcoves, one in each hay loft, exposing the original height and wood-structure of the space.
One of these alcoves was conceived as an entrance space, while the second is located in front of the living room and can be used as a loggia. The inner walls are glazed, and the exterior stairs, which were previously used to transport the hay from above to the barn below, now serve as the entrance stair for the house.
The main, undulating living space leads to small private rooms. A spiral stair rises through the rooms with different size, height and orientation, connecting the two floors. A series of connections are created between the two floors through inner windows, and the cupboards and the chimney are integrated into the walls.
The weekend house consists entirely of wood. The floor is made of native larch, while walls and ceilings consists of birch inlay, both contrasting with the original, dark wood of the main façade. The roof is newly covered with larch shingles, and all surfaces are untreated and exposed to natural deterioration.
Camponovo Baumgartner Architekten: House C
Project: Family Weekend House
Location: Reckingen, Wallis, Switzerland
Building plot: 244 square metres
Footprint: 104 square metres
Habitable Surface: 114 square metres
Effective Surface: 209 square metres
Gross Cubage: 618 cubic metres
Heated Cubage: 312 cubic metres
Photography: José Hevia