The dwelling is located in Les Neyres, a hamlet situated on the slopes above Monthey where the vineyards stop and the chestnut woods start — a situation that is neither plane nor mountain.
That said, the planning requirements dictate an alpine vernacular in an area zoned for chalet-style building.
In its composition of volumes and use of materials, the project engages with the requirements by reinterpreting the characteristic image of an Illiez Valley chalet. The lines of the angled roof are incorporated within the volume of the house. The plan takes the form of a deformed hexagon.
The autonomous volume appears inserted into the ground with no impact on the natural slope of the terrain. The only exception to this is the entrance lobby, which cuts into the incline and seems almost detached from the house.
Starting from the lobby, the interior layout forms an ascent towards the countryside: first horizontally, with the long, narrow window that illuminates both the succession of day spaces and the nucleus of the kitchen; then vertically, with the tall bathroom window.
The facades and roof are one. The glazed openings, of which there are few, are flush with the facade to reinforce the sense of mass.
The envelope is clad in rough pine boards sporting a black stain finish, its silhouette reminiscent of an ancestral chalet nestling in the landscape.
The interior, by contrast, is uniformly and immaterially white, reinforcing the framing context of the landscape.
The sole use of colour is orange, present in the see-through windbreak on the terrace, the lightweight translucent dividing walls of the walk-in closets, the cladding of the music room, and the entrance lobby.
Project name: Martinho House
Location: Les Neyres, Bex, Switzerland
Program: Single family house
Project Area: 285 m2
Inception Year: May 2006
Completion Year: February 2007
Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Bonnard Woeffray Architectes
Collaborator: Sylvain Dubail
Text Description: © Bonnard Woeffray Architectes
Images: © Hannes Henz