The Yellow House - Flims - Switzerland
“This house unoccupied for twenty years, became popularly known as Das Gelbe Haus [The Yellow House] when it refinished and painted yellow prior to its renovation.
Originally dwelling house owned by the Parish of Flims, in accordance with an agreement between the Parish and my father, himself an architect, it was supposed to have been renovated in keeping with his own architectural precepts.
Amongst other things, he stipulated that the house should be painted white and the roof should be finished with stone slab.
After my father's death the Parish decided to turn it into an exhibition space. Since the intricate internal structure of the dwelling house was not suitable for the new purpose, we had to take rigorous action. The building was completely gutted: the interior was rebuilt in solid wood; the old external plasterwork was removed to reveal the natural stone walls; the roof was removed and replaced with randomly shaped stones slabs.
Windows and openings no longer needed were filled in; others were fitted with new concrete reveals cast in situ.
Finally the new interior wood structure, the existing external stone walls and the new slab-stone roof were all painted white.
The final coat of white, the finest of lime-washes, forms the outermost skin of the building. It conceals anything left unfinished.
At the same time it points to a certain contradiction. The white lime-wash seems to turn the childlike archaism and animal substance of this structure into an abstract thought - which for its part gives the house itself the appearance of a "vision”.”
- Valerio Olgiati
[project selected by Keisuke Matsumiya]
The building was completely gutted, the interior was rebuilt in solid wood, the old external plaster-work was removed to reveal the natural stone walls, and the roof was removed and replaced with randomly shaped stone slabs. Windows and openings that were not longer needed were filled in; others were fitted with new concrete reveals cast in situ.
The outermost skin of building is now formed by an extrely fine white coat of lime wash that conceals anything left unfinished. At the same time it evokes a kind of contradictoriness: the bright white surface invests the childlike archaism and sensual materiality of the structure with the character of an abstract thougt, which in turn lends the building its „apparitional“ appearance.
- courtesy Valerio Olgiati