Bjarne Mastenbroek Switzerland
Pictures Richard Powers
Words Dominic Bradbury
Made famous by its famous spa designed by Peter Zumthor, Vals is a place of real and rugged beauty. The mountains tower over this small town and in winter the snow covered pines and peaks present a breath taking panorama. It was here that Dutch architect Bjarne Mastenbroek decided to create a unique country home.
Not wishing to spoil the landscape or the scenery in any way, Mastenbroek decided to push his Villa Vals into the hillside, creating a semi-subterranean home. A simple disc in the snowy slopes offers a glimpse of a stone façade, a patchwork of windows and a sheltered, secluded terrace.
The house itself is accessed via a stone barn nearby, which offers a route into a subterranean tunnel leading to the house itself. Emerging from the tunnel, you find yourself in a living room where the windows frame a view of the mesmerizing landscape, while the furnishings mix contemporary Dutch pieces by Moooi, Hella Jongerius and others with vintage mid-century classics. Stepping down, you find yourself in a central kitchen and dining room, with the first of four bedrooms beyond. A further three bedroom are on the upper level of the house.