Summer and winter retreats built within the walls of old stone houses in the Swiss Alps.

Located in the Onsernone valley in Ticino, Switzerland, a complex of old stone houses has received a new lease on life. Architecture firm Buchner Bründler Architekten completed the adaptive-reuse project for a client who is familiar with the area and wanted to create a residential dwelling within the walls of the almost dilapidated buildings. Perched on a mountain ridge on a steep slope close to the village of Mosogno di Sotto, Mosogno House celebrates the character of the old houses and immerses the residents in a stunning landscape. Keeping as many old elements as possible, the architects completed repairs as needed but carefully preserved the walls in their original state.

Instead of covering the stones with plaster, the team left the marks of time visible. The client’s brief requested minimal changes and only simple interventions. However, the studio had to replace the roof entirely, along with the damaged wooden beams. The house now features both a corrugated steel roof and a steel structure that provide protection against the elements. The latter also strengthens the stone building.

Thoughtful interventions that accentuate the buildings’ history.

In the main building, the architects designed a summer house with a new hall that extends over two levels. A metal frame encloses a large fireplace and chimney, linking the walls of the house. Throughout this space, the studio preserved the original walls to highlight the history of the building. A nearby annex, which required only minimal repairs, now contains a winter house. Here, the team designed warm spaces with dark wood flooring and walls. This wing is both climatically and energy controlled, allowing the client to use the space during winter.

A bathroom in a structure near the summer wing now features a concrete cupola instead of the crumbling wooden roof. Outside, a terrace opens to views of the valley below and the surrounding mountains. To achieve their vision of respecting the identity of the original stone houses, the architecture firm collaborated with local craftspeople who have a deep knowledge of traditional stone building techniques. Photographs© Georg Aerni, Buchner Bründler.

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