High Life: the "Chalet Anzère"

At Anzère, the sky is the limit. Not only topographically, because the town is located in the Valais at an altitude of 1500 meters. But also in terms of architecture. Proof of this is the unique "Chalet Anzère" with its aesthetic lines.
Text Jack Weil
Photo Ossip van Duivenbode

A chalet: In the past, you have had one if you kept sheep or goats and needed a shelter - that is, if you wanted to go into the dry. Just like the alpine dairymen in the Alps, to which the shape and name still refer to today. Today: You have a chalet when the sheep are already dry. And instead of cloven hoofed animals, one can turn to more sophisticated accommodation in the mountains including horsepower. Just like the owner of the "Chalet Anzère", which stands in the Swiss town of the same name. An entrepreneur, hobby pianist and racing driver who is looking for clear conditions. Not only with the sound and his cars, but also with the accommodation in Valais.

Realized by the Dutch architectural office SeARCH, the building, inspired by the "Grand Chalet Balthus" in Rossinière, therefore clears up several things at once. On the one hand, the new building with ground-level garage simplifies the previously problematic but important access road, on the other hand, the minimalistically designed living area also clears up the scattered buildings of the previous owners. The Materials of choice here: Traditional building materials such as wood, aesthetic overhangs in classic chalet style but also clear and modern lines at a 45-degree angle. The latter also makes reference to the building site, as it is located on an equally steep slope.

But the villa also impresses with inner values: on all three floors of the residential building, the interior design picks up on the minimalist aesthetics of the façade. The angles already familiar on the façade meet concrete and wood on 500 square meters, which are complemented by a free-floating fireplace in the living area. Also included: Terraces on all three living levels, offering views of Alpine peaks such as the Matterhorn and Dufourspitze. View or not: We would have been satisfied with a deeper insight into the garage with the two Porsche.

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