“A mountain house should always be a minimal act with maximum safety. It must condense the site characteristics into a man-made mold. It is not a mirror, but an echo” Pierre Zoelly
Designed as a holiday home for René Vogelbacher and his wife Evelina (née Stampa), who was a prominent postwar voice in the women’s movement of the liberal party (FDP), this 1978 gem lays out the basic formula for the Pierry Zoelly mountain house. Architecturally, this translated as alpine-avantgarde. In essence, Zoelly drew on the simplicity and all-season sheltering qualities of the traditional Bregaglia mountain house, giving it a contemporary spin: a sculptural reinforced concrete tree forms the foundation and static core. The centre-piece also acts as a cosy fire-place. Thick walls, a gneiss-plated roof and tiny windows shelter against the elements, while a large glass front adds a light and airy touch. And now to the coolest design-detail: the metal shutters are painted in the colours of the Fiat collection of 1977. They lift the mood during the long, dark winters, but come out to their dazzling best in the autumn, when the larch woods turn golden.