The project addresses two themes, the conversion of a barn with a hayloft into a habitable building and the reconstruction of an adjacent but independent farm building, originally used for the production of cheese.
The project connects the two small structures by means of a sunken passageway rendered invisible from the outside so as not to disturb the harmony of the farm complex.
The two structures are dealt with autonomously, despite a number of features which allow them to be read as one project – the flooring which they have in common, for example.
The distinction lies primarily in the feeling that the internal space and the materials communicate to the visitor.
The barn has a stone base, reinforced and plastered in lime and cement and finished with lime mixed with very fine sand. The upper storey is a hayloft in interlocking logs (Blockbau) inside which a room in solid larch has been ‘inserted’, catching the essence of the local building style.
The door of the hayloft, which originally had two panels, has been reinterpreted as a large French window in larch, like all the doors and windows in the barn, which can be closed with a sliding panel in carved wood. The remaining doors and windows have been created with minimum interference to the beams.
The farm building retains its original position and structure but the plastered stone wall has been replaced by a new wall in concrete, insulated and plastered.
The interior is exposed concrete which is obtained using white cement. The formwork consists of planks of sawn wood of various thicknesses between 12 and 15cm.
The windows echo the originals which were much smaller (25 x 40cm) and cut obliquely, the exception being one large window on the west side which frames a view of Lake Maloja.
Here, all the woodwork is in oak, a combination that works better with concrete than larch. The exterior is plastered in lime and cement which is then scored the day after its application to give it that rough look of mountain houses. The external shutters are in unfinished metal.
The continuous flooring in both structures is in beaten concrete, obtained by adding powdered marble and impregnated with Marsiglia soap.