Summer Cottage - Linescio - Switzerland
The village of Linescio lies in the secluded Rovana Valley in Ticino, surrounded by groves of chestnut trees and terraced fields. Here, only 30 km from Locarno, it feels as if one were in a different world.
Some of the existing stone houses stand empty, but the core of the village is still intact, with buildings distinguished by their granite walls and roof coverings. The peace and original character of this location spurred the architects to use the present 200-year-old stone house as a holiday residence and to preserve as much of the existing fabric as possible, complementing it with an unusual new structure. From the outside, the only visible changes are the glass door to the garden and the new concrete chimney stack.
Internally, however, a house within a house has been constructed, with a homogeneous, monolithic concrete volume inserted inside the existing walls, a structure that opens to the south and west by means of high, folding wooden shutters. Conceived for summer use, it was possible to do without heating, new windows and insulation and to leave the outer facade in its existing state.
The concrete was brought in layer by layer through the opened roof, with the existing walls acting as permanent shuttering. On the inside, the untreated exposed concrete surfaces bear the bold texture of the formwork. In the extension, too – a timber-laced beam structure, formerly used for drying chestnuts – all new elements are consistently made of concrete: the bathtub as a recess in the floor, and the kitchen worktop with a sink integrated as a single cast form. The plastic, evocative qualities of the exposed concrete intensify the archaic character and the calm atmosphere of this stone house.
[project selected by Silvio Christian Rudolf Schubiger]