From antique barn to contemporary ski cabin | Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes
What would you do with an old stone barn just steps from a ski run at a resort in the Swiss Alps? Turn it into a cozy ski cabin? That might seem like an obvious choice now, having the benefit of seeing the result, but it probably wasn’t so obvious before. In fact, this barn sat on the ski hill for several decades before someone saw the potential and asked Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes to design a conversion. Who knows, there could be an old or disused building near you just waiting for someone with the vision to turn it into a characterful small house or cabin.
The barn was built back in 1878 and used to shelter animals and their keepers during the alpine grazing season. Nine decades later, the mountain was developed into the Anzère ski resort but the barn continued to be used for livestock. Until the restoration and conversion to a ski cabin began in 2013, the barn had undergone only minor changes.
Aside from the restored stone walls, the main exterior modification was the addition of a wide window on the downhill side, providing a panoramic view over the valley. A more subtle change was to the roof, which was raised about a foot to gain adequate headroom inside. The walls were built up with new stonework so skillfully done, it’s hard to tell where the original stone ends and the new begins.
The main living space and the bathroom are on the upper floor while the lower level, dug into the mountainside, is split between the bedroom and a utility room. As a counterpoint to the rough stone exterior, the architects finished the inside with smooth larch boards. The wood also provides a visual warmth to balance the expansive view of snow-covered mountains.
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