nickisch sano walder preserve the refugi lieptgas in concrete nickisch sano walder preserve the refugi lieptgas in concrete
jan 19, 2015

nickisch sano walder preserve the refugi lieptgas in concrete

nickisch sano walder preserve the refugi lieptgas in concrete
image © gaudenz danuser
all images courtesy of nickisch sano walder architekten




refugi lieptgas, designed by swiss practice nickisch sano walder architekten, is a modern recreation of a pre-existing agrarian vernacular. the countryside of flims is dotted with decaying wooden cabins used historically as shelters for farmers and storage. the architects in turn recreated he cabin with concrete, freezing and preserving the original fingerprint. the outer walls are cast by using the original overlapping logs that made up the main structure of the cabin as the form work, thereby molding a solid wall with similar characteristics to the timber but formed of the negative space. although rendering the structure as a piece of modern architecture, many of the uses of the cabin were preserved. the main room upstairs contains the hearth, a small eating area located at a window with views to the surrounding forest, and a heated bench providing the perfect view through a skylight and the canopy of a large birch tree. below ground, the bedroom is well insulated by the thick concrete walls and enveloping earth. a large window reveals an existing rock which is allowed to almost intrude into the home, sitting as a feature piece that gives the smooth angular nature of the home a touch of nature and organic textures.

concave beams lining the walls are reminiscent of the original wooden structure
image © gaudenz danuser






image © gaudenz danuser



main interior space marked by simple clean surfaces, heat, and light
image © gaudenz danuser



a curving staircase leads to the underground bedroom
image © ralph feiner



subterranean bedroom sharing a space with an existing boulder
image © gaudenz danuser



bathtub next to the large opening
image © ralph feiner



view of the window well
image © ralph feiner



cabin prior to renovation







project info:



region: ch – switzerland, graubünden, flims
name: refugi lieptgas
scenery: between the village and the woods edge, in the swiss alps
type: house
architecture: modern
completion: 2013
architect: selina walder & georg nikisch, nickisch sano walder architekten, flims dorf

  • Beautiful. Any chance to rent it for weekends?

    oliver says:
  • Ando meets Whitread

    dbkii says:
  • Stunning! Would also love to rent this!

    suzanne clayton says:

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