Nestled in the Sarreyer hillside, just beyond a charming village in the Swiss Alps, is a tiny cabin. Designed by Vevey-based firm, Rapin Saiz Architects, the Sarreyer Cabin is a perfect architectural example of the age-old phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover.
The cabin’s ramshackle appearance may not attract many second glances, yet, this is exactly what the architects hoped to achieve. To maintain anonymity, Rapin Saiz designed the house to appear unapproachable: a fact that serves to heighten the element of surprise that this particular home evokes on entering. In striking contrast to the exterior, the interior is warm and welcoming — an architectural reflection of the ever-changing seasons the inhabitants are set to endure in the cabin. The interior has been constructed almost entirely from oak panels, which, with the help of the log-burner, ensure that the home stays warm during the winter. In the summer months, the abundance of disorderly-proportioned windows, deliberately placed to offer the most magnificent views of the surrounding scenery, open up to allow the home to breathe. It is the architect’s intelligent maximizing of minimal space that keeps the home cool. Accompanying an already surprisingly spacious kitchen, dining room and seating area on the first floor, a basement level has been carved from the earth. The basement is home to the living area, where the inhabitants can rest by the log-burning fire. Above the kitchen, a loft level houses bedroom space, finished with skylights that flood the home with natural light, offering a cosy hideaway from the outside world.
All images © Lionel Henroid