Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

• September 14, 2013

The owner of the arsenal wanted to convert this former Swiss army building, constructed during the Second World War, into a habitable space.

RalphGermann Arsenal LHenriod 08 600x450 Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

courtesy Ralph Germann architectes

Architect Ralph Germann’s transformation involved inserting a glass cube into the old structure, an option which meant he didn’t have to touch the patina of the walls, and was able to preserve the roof and some historic details such as the “charge maximum 1500 kg au m2”[maximum load 1500 kg/m2] sign on the wall.

RalphGermann Arsenal LHenriod 03 600x450 Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

courtesy Ralph Germann architectes

Whilst wishing to preserve this testimony to the past, the architect retained only simple materials – noble and solid – including larch, slate, glass and metal. And by interpreting them using clean, pure lines, he has given the chalet a timeless feel. To avoid sliding into an atmosphere of austerity, Ralph Germann has added an unexpected touch of colour behind the cloakroom door: a bold shade of fuchsia.

RalphGermann Arsenal LHenriod 11 600x797 Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

courtesy Ralph Germann architectes

This design, functional above all else, places the emphasis on light and space. To achieve the second, the architect has designed another cube – but in wood this time. Set within the heart of the glass structure, it houses the WCs, cupboards, and even the bed, which folds up when not in use. This optimises space in this area, which measures only 49 m2.

RalphGermann Arsenal LHenriod 02 600x450 Arsenal B47 / transformation by Ralph Germann architectes

courtesy Ralph Germann architectes

A large picture window – that can be concealed or revealed thanks to double wooden doors – and a long, horizontal window ensure excellent lighting.

+ Project credits

Architect: Ralph Germann architectes (www.ralphgermann.ch)
Furniture & Interior Designer: Ralph Germann architectes
Photographer: Lionel Henriod / mc2, Photo stylist: Patricia Schmid

+ About Ralph Germann architectes

Founded in 2002 by Ralph Germann, the firm is a multidisciplinary practice based in Vevey, Switzerland, with a team of seven collaborators. Ralph Germann is active in various fields from architecture to furniture design.

Its architecture can be defined in two words : aesthetics and functionality. From uncluttered or monastic interior to vernacular architecture, its projects create clever interiors where minimalism means comfort.

The designed buildings are also dotted with unique furniture, customized for each space, underlying the views and perspectives as the main assets of these projects.

+ All images courtesy Ralph Germann architectes

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Category: Architecture, House, Interior

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