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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

 
September 5th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Ralph Germann architectes

The owner of the arsenal wanted to convert this former Swiss army building, constructed during the Second World War, into a habitable space.

Architect Ralph Germann’s transformation involved inserting a glass cube into the old structure, an option which meant he didn’t have to touch the patina of the walls, and was able to preserve the roof and some historic details such as the “charge maximum 1500 kg au m2”[maximum load 1500 kg/m2] sign on the wall.

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

  • Architects: Ralph Germann architectes
  • Project: Arsenal B47 / transformation
  • Photography: Lionel Henriod / mc2
  • Photo stylist: Patricia Schmid
  • Furniture & Interior Designer: Ralph Germann architectes

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Whilst wishing to preserve this testimony to the past, the architect retained only simple materials – noble and solid – including larch, slate, glass and metal. And by interpreting them using clean, pure lines, he has given the chalet a timeless feel. To avoid sliding into an atmosphere of austerity, Ralph Germann has added an unexpected touch of colour behind the cloakroom door: a bold shade of fuchsia.

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

This design, functional above all else, places the emphasis on light and space. To achieve the second, the architect has designed another cube – but in wood this time. Set within the heart of the glass structure, it houses the WCs, cupboards, and even the bed, which folds up when not in use. This optimises space in this area, which measures only 49 m2.

A large picture window – that can be concealed or revealed thanks to double wooden doors – and a long, horizontal window ensure excellent lighting.

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Ralph Germann architectes 

Founded in 2002 by Ralph Germann, the firm is a multidisciplinary practice based in Vevey, Switzerland, with a team of seven collaborators. Ralph Germann is active in various fields from architecture to furniture design.

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Its architecture can be defined in two words : aesthetics and functionality. From uncluttered or monastic interior to vernacular architecture, its projects create clever interiors where minimalism means comfort.

The designed buildings are also dotted with unique furniture, customized for each space, underlying the views and perspectives as the main assets of these projects.

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Lionel Henriod / mc2

Image Courtesy © Ralph Germann architectes

Image Courtesy © Ralph Germann architectes

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