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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.

Casa Sur Ual in Vella, Switzerland by Christian Müller Architects

 
July 22nd, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Christian Müller Architects

Villages in the Alpine Region are threatened with being turned into ghost towns. This is being caused by a number of factors. The present building stock has a large portion of second homes which is hardly being used. The amenities offered do not live up to modern standards and there is preciously little room to build new houses. A project by Christian Müller in the Swiss village of Vella is a showcase of how this development can be countered with innovative concepts.

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

  • Architects: Christian Müller Architects, (CMA/gutundgut), Rotterdam
  • Project: Casa Sur Ual
  • Location: 7144 Vella, Switzerland
  • Photography: Susanna von Känel
  • Client: Kühne and von Känel, Müller and Müller- Züger
  • Local architect: Lukas Egli, Projektierbar, Basel
  • Engineering: Ingenieurbüro Walter Bieler AG, Bonaduz
  • Timberwork: Alig Holzkultur, Vrin

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

The house called “Casa Sur Ual” is located centrally in the main area of the Val Lumnezia. It is constructed with solid timber logs notched at the corners. Surrounded by houses built of stone and elegant timber the 350 year old building is very much in harmony with its surrounding. The two new owners have approached Christian Müller with the challenges of dealing with historical structures. Good solutions of these problems so commonly encountered are notoriously hard to find. The approach should result in a balance of square meters, habitable spaces, room clearance with historical substance and finances as well as an ecologically convincing solution.

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Contemporary agility

The result resembles something of a three-dimensional puzzle. Both owners own a third of the building and share another third. It is like a scheme of “pay half, use two-thirds”. The children’s rooms, a sauna, spacious storage and attic rooms have been planned in the flexible third. The two apartments can also be opened up to each other and as such offer accommodations to a single group of up to fifteen people. The house can host grandparents, families and guests in different constellations and also be rented out as a
vacation house.

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

The courage to apply innovative solutions 

Cabinet beds are interlaced with storage spaces in a playful fashion. A passageway may be two feet wide, another may well be 5 and a half foot high. Throughout there is comfort, consciousness of quality and respect for the traditional. The room for
manoeuvring within the historical walls offers ample space of ideas for future uses. The Alpine regions are an important part of the Swiss landscape and the Swiss artful way of life. The flexible use of existing buildings not only reinforces the local economy can be, as this conversion proves, ecologically meaningful as well.

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Susanna von Känel

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

Image Courtesy © Christian Müller Architects

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Category: House

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