House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

 

To Switzerland, today, where outside the little town Balsthal stands this sweet cottage by . Looking at the photos (by ), I can’t stop the walls and roof morphing into gingerbread. I’m starting design work on my own little house in the woods, so when I see a project like this, out comes the pen and I start taking notes.

 

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

 

There’s much to like about this little house, hunkered down into its woodland site, the ground floor set below grade, weighted down by that capacious gable roof. By digging out a little and stretching a ribbon of glass around the base, the dark tile and timber top of the house floats above the ground. Like a cuckoo clock on pilotis.

A round window below the eaves speaks to the simple geometry of the architecture, and to my eye lends a quaint bird housey feeling to the elevations. The expressed cross bracing at the gable ends of the house could in some circumstances be a bit clunky, but here it becomes almost an abstraction of the tree branches which cluster thickly around the site.

 

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

 

Inside, the house looks warm and friendly – lined with what I’m sure is a heavenly-smelling timber lining that a part of me is itching to paint white. The architect’s statement outlines how the house was designed to engage with the landscape in two ways – a direct link from the snug ground floor, and observationally, from the upper floor, designed as a lofty-ceilinged viewing platform. A bit of digging in versus a bit of elevation, and hey presto, a beautiful site served two ways. Simple enough but not a lot of people think of it and here it seems to work beautifully.

 

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer | Yellowtrace

 

For me, the evening shots of this project are the most delicious. Mist in the trees, the dark cladding like night time’s cloak wrapping around the house, and the warm timbered interior glowing merrily within. Snug as a bug in a rug.

Ende.

Text by Luke Moloney for Yellowtrace.

Related Post: Beautiful Buildings Below The Ground.

 


[Photography by , via .]

 



About The Author

Luke Moloney
Contributor

Luke is an architect from Sydney who has travelled extensively throughout Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. He has a deep appreciation of Scandinavian architecture and design, and a love of architectural history in general. He believes that the best design is beautiful and accessible, uncomplicated, and a pleasure. Luke buys far too many books, and in his spare time wonders if he has what it takes to be ‘Detail’ magazine’s first cover model.

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