This single storey build in Switzerland makes for an interesting addition to a neighbourhood at the base of the Alps.  

tempesta tramparulo exterior of clad building in swiss alps - grand designs - self build 

Image: Milo Keller

Grimisuat in Switzerland, at the foot of the Swiss Alps, is a muncipality with a particular contrast in housing - sleek, modern new builds sit back-to-back with traditional chalet-style homes, each built high for the best views of the picturesque mountain views. 

Part of Tempesta Tramparulo architects' task in building a family residence on this site was in bridging this contrast and creating a home that highlighted the positive aspects of this plot, and such did they succeed, that this house has won the Housing/Architecture category in the DNA Paris Awards 2020

The use of cladding creates an exterior that, from a distance, seems typical of this alpine landscape, but on closer inspection, an intricate pattern reveals more than the modest materials first suggest. 

Read more: Exterior cladding: which material to choose for your home

tempesta tramparulo interior of clad building in swiss alps - grand designs - self build 

Image: Milo Keller

The timber cladding sits proud of large expanses of glazing, meaning that the intriguing lattice design can be appreciated from inside too. It creates a space that's light and bright, and that offers near panaromic views of the mountains, while retaining the privacy of the family living within. 

The sitting room library is the best summary of the spirit of this project, according to the architects: "The frank juxtaposition of a book collection with the view outside challenges the supposed dichotomy between nature and culture, implying that the coming together of opposites can be a prompt to dialogue." 

 tempesta tramparulo Family Residence SELF BUILD IN SWISS ALPS WITH TIMBER CLADDING - grand designs

Image: Milo Keller

This arrangement of rooms allows extends diagonally across the plot's topography, making the most of its natural features.

Instead of competing in height with the buildings around it to secure exceptional views, precisely locating the openings from the house to the outside world have been the focus. 

Retractable, moveable elements on the façade of the home also allow the owners to modulate the light, privacy and views at all times.

Read more: 3 innovative houses built on sloped plots

 tempesta tramparulo Family Residence - self build - grand designs

Image: Milo Keller 

Project finished 2017
Size 269 sq m
Architect Tempesta Tramparulo


What do you think of this exceptional self-build? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page



4 self-build houses on awkward plots

Glazing: how to add natural light to your home

More Self Build Homes...

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
Self Build Homes

Your guide to property bonds

Property bonds provide an attractive investment opportunity. We provide a quick guide to all that you need to know.
Self Build Homes

4 self-build houses on awkward plots

These self-build homes may have had plots with problems, but that didn't stand in the way of creating incredible properties.
Self Build Homes

Self-build mortgage completions grow 144% this year

New data shows a huge increase in the number of self-build completions using specialist mortgages year-on-year.
Self Build Homes

How to pick the perfect front door for your project

First impressions count and an entrance door sets the tone for your whole property.
Self Build Homes

What is a turnkey self-build home?

Explore the idea of these hands-off self-builds, where a single company has taken the project from concept to completion
Self Build Homes

Explore this re-imagined oast house in Kent

A creative self-build inspired by Kent’s iconic hop-drying towers made use of local skills to create a cosy family home.