A small village in the heart of the Valais is home to the concept of Montagne Alternative: a new take on well-being in the mountains. Five old barns and a brick house were transformed into guesthouses.
To ensure these structures would at the very least maintain the beauty of their original raw and almost derelict state, which inspired our initial fascination, the architectural operation was radical. The desire was to preserve the beauty by transforming the structures, which is crucial for the benefit of the occupants but also for the conservation of the barns – a mutually beneficial cause – killing two birds with one stone. Therefore the stone bases were restored, drained and reinforced, the beam partitions were corrected, the framework straightened, all the wood was preserved and cleaned and the flooring was stripped back. Occasionally, the work that was undertaken meant we gained height to enable the technical cables to run through the basement and the new dimensions achieved remained as within the original structure despite the new wall widths for insulation and despite the ever-growing human desire for more space.