lionel ballmer architecte: Small House - best architects 23

lionel ballmer architecte

Small House

best architects 23

single family homes


Haute-Nendaz, Switzerland


Julie Masson


Located in the mountain resort of Haute-Nendaz, this small wooden house and its adjacent workshop are nestled in a wooded area planted some fifty years ago by the family of the owner of the neighbouring chalet. The buildings are set opposite the family’s house, therefore densifying the existing plot by dividing it into two parts. The shifted placement of the house and workshop creates a central area: an intimate garden, cut off from the rest of the world despite close proximity to the parental chalet and the neighbouring summer camp building. The monolithic small house is entirely covered on all five sides with cladding made of rough larch strips from the region. Inside the house, a central staircase acts as the backbone of the project. It serves five half-levels, each composed of two distinct spaces. This interior maze opens onto a succession of «small worlds», thus creating the impression of living in a place that is larger than it actually is. This quest for both spatial and material minimalism goes against the consumerist dictates of contemporary society. From a construction standpoint, the entire skeleton – interior partitions, perimeter walls, slabs, roofing and furniture – is composed of cross-laminated timber made of locally sourced spruce. The construction phase lasted only six months. The heating and hot water are produced by a pellet boiler. Radiators placed under the furniture distribute the heat evenly in each room. In summer, the trees bordering the plot create large areas of shade.