cheseauxrey associés : Mayen in Les Grillesses - best architects 23

cheseauxrey associés

Mayen in Les Grillesses

best architects 23

renovation and addition


Sion, Switzerland


Sedlatchek Nicolas


The mayen, dating from the 1850s, is in an agricultural area. The upper floor was originally used as a farmer’s dwelling during the transit of cattle in spring and autumn, while a cowshed occupied the lower part. The aim of the project was to revitalise the mayen while preserving the vernacular characteristics of this heritage. Parts of the stone walls and the roof, in very poor condition, were rebuilt. However, the final volume has remained unchanged. An underground extension hosting the bathroom and the technical room was added at the back of the volume. The day area (kitchen, dining and living space) is on the upper ground floor, which has retained the eastern entrance. Two bedrooms are on the lower level. The original entrance and cowshed doors, including openings, have been preserved. The wooded part on the south façade, typical of the mayens of the region, has been reinterpreted with a fixed pane of glass. Inside, a box entirely made of wood facilitates insulation and accommodates technical equipment. A new slab between the two levels is visible on the lower ground floor. On the upper level, the slab is covered with natural stone for low maintenance, especially for skiers in winter. In the living area, the wooden panelling blends into a bench in front of the fixed window, thus saving space. The window frames the mountains behind the Rhône River, revealing a living painting throughout the seasons. The transformation was intended to be minimal and respectful of this local heritage.