The two residential buildings stand on the edge of the village in the Corvatsch valley, adjacent to smaller residential and vacation apartment buildings and large hotels on the road to St. Moritz. The three-story and the four-story cube are essentially structured in the same way. They mostly contain two 4.5-room apartments on each floor. Staircases and wet rooms are located in concrete cores. To the southeast, the living spaces are oriented towards the open agricultural Greva plain, which extends all the way to the buildings.
Loggias supported by round steel columns give direction to the cubes. Individual windows connect the outdoor space in front with the living rooms and the kitchens, and extend low to the ground. On the other sides, the windows are smaller, set in an irregular pattern. Sometimes there is another narrow window below, laterally offset. The extraordinary position of the cubes, which are not arranged in a line, favors for both house`s axial view to the mountains and the lake, as well as to the side. The apartments may seem similar on first sight, however, the windows emphasize their uniqueness. The interplay of the windows evoke a memory of the Graubünden burgher houses, reinforcing the physicality as in these traditional buildings. The depth and the soffit reveals the dimension of the construction and the shell.
The two apartment buildings in Champfèr are the first wooden houses to be built in the Upper Engadine since the 1920s. The load-bearing structure is made of wood. The exterior walls were prefabricated in the workshop and assembled element by element on site. Modern insulation optimizes the energy balance, as do geothermal probes and photovoltaics, which reduce the operating energy that must be supplied.
A white glaze covers the boards and slats of white fir. The ornamentation, based on a design by Josef Felix Müller, gives the structures a softer expression. The artist also designed the handles of the house entrance doors, which take on the form of branches and are cast in metal, as well as the hoods on the arbors` wooden balusters.
Location: Via Suot Chesas, Champfèr
Program: owner-occupied apartments and rented apartments to local residents
Landscape Architect: Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich
Civil engineer: Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure, Basel
Timber engineer: Bachofner GmbH, Frümsen
HLSE, electrical: Amstein + Walthert, Zurich
Assembly construction in wood: ARGE Holzbau, Champfèr Blumer-Lehmann, Gossau (planning), Uffer Holz Savognin and A. Freund Holzbau, Samedan (assembly)
Carpentry work/ interior fittings: Stahl- & Traumfabrik, Zurich
Artist: Josef Felix Müller