SWISSHOUSE XXXII ROSSA – Sinusoïde, permanent work in situ by Daniel Buren & Davide Macullo In collaboration with Mario Cristiani – Galleria Continua
Swiss House Rossa represents the constant commitment to build with respect for the places we inhabit and to make every effort in helping our understanding of civilisation. This is an opera that lies on the cusp between art and architecture, a living sculpture. Alongside its primary role in protecting man from the elements, it is an architecture that needs art to complete it.
Project: Swisshouse Rossa
Location:  Rossa, Calanca Valley, Graubünden, Switzerland
Function:  Private House – 2 units
Project start date: 2014
Construction start date: 09.2016
Completion date: 06.2017
Site area: 350 m2
Building area: 75 m2
Total floor area GFA: 300 m2
Basement floor area: 75 m2
Above ground floor area: 225 m2
Parking: 2
Volume: 1’000 m3
Storeys: 1 level basement, 2 levels above ground, mezzanines
Materials: Main structure underground: Reinforced concrete
Main structure aboveground: Timber
Finish, exterior:
Facade: Painted timber
Windows: Timber frame – triple glazing
Roof: Rheinzink VM-Zink  pre-patinated panels
Finish, interior: Walls: Timber
Ceilings: Timber
Floors: Concrete
Client: Oksana Kudin, Davide Macullo
Project by: Daniel Buren & Davide Macullo
In collaboration with: Mario Cristiani, Galleria Continua
Design collaborators: Michele Alberio
Aileen Forbes-Munnelly
Indoor art installation by: Miki Tallone: roof structure
Other art in situ by:  Flavio Paolucci, Adoka Niitsu, Lorenzo Cambin, Marta Margnetti.
Construction/Site Management: Davide Macullo Architects – Lugano TI
Landscape architect :  Davide Macullo Architects – Lugano TI
Interior design: Davide Macullo Architects – Lugano TI
Structural engineer concrete: Belletti Molinaro – Bellinzona TI
Structural engineer wood: Frei Holzbau AG – Kriessern SG
Contractor concrete works: Bianchi SA – Roveredo GR
Contractor timber works: Frei Holzbau AG – Kriessern SG
Roof cladding: Davide Bricalli – Cama GR
Building engineer, acoustics: Cimarolli – Lugano TI
Electrical works: Curti elettricista – Roveredo GR

© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

Daniel Buren: we involved him because during our own formative years he taught us the pleasure of synthesis in observing the beauty of nature through his recognisable signs. Today we have a permanent work of his in the heart of the Swiss Alps. We enter this space, built by the place: a fairytale, yet real; just as we want the world to be.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

The Calanca valley, when you go there, you forget the things that are known to you. In reality, the journey there is short, but it is a trip of a lifetime.
Once inside, the valley closes behind you, and beyond opens the door to your dreams.Rocky walls, forests, undulating soft fields; the ceaseless work of centuries of men and women; it warms us. The rocks tell us the story of the birth of the earth and how much it has had to move to give us this blessed place.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

Rossa is a place of memory where civilisation comes from simplicity. Our task is to continue this art of love for this land through humble but enduring gestures. This village in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1100 meters, lies almost at the end of the valley, where the powerful force of nature expresses itself, its presence revealing to us our measure in the world.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

Building in this context means taking cue from the signs of the past in their essence, following the peace of a place that catalyses energies difficult to describe. The apparent urban simplicity of the place is a complex interlace of balance between men and the stones used to build their own home.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

Nothing here is new. This physical and spiritual place still resists commoditisation and each object placed in it is consumed and amalgamated with history and nature. Swiss House is placed spatially along a line of volumes of patrician houses that form an agglomeration around the village church. The new volume emphasises this axis both physically and conceptually.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

The cross in vertical projection, the rounding of the edges and the simple torsion of the roof make it dynamic and reinterprets the archetype of the house. Just like the typical house as designed by children: two vertical lines, two diagonal line for the roof, holes for letting light. This is the same thing, but completely different.
© Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo

It is the archetype re-invented to show that the reasons for building are inventive and inexhaustible and that buildings are our public art. Just as our surrounding nature is not always  the  same,  but  is  in  constant  flux,  changing  and  taking  on  new  meanings depending on how we observe it.

It is an enclosure that defines a dynamic space. The points of view and the light penetrations  work  on  the  perception  of  time,  notably  from  the  absence  of  the instantaneous speed of the sliding images we have grown used to. It is an unbroken line of emotions.  Each  aperture  is  calibrated  and  oriented  towards  selected  views  of  the surrounding  landscape.  Each  point  is  different  and  every  breath  of  the  landscape suggests different things.
The basement is in reinforced concrete, the upper volume entirely in wood, without interpreting the traditional construction type of the Alps, but using it as it is. In the future we will be able to print buildings directly on the site with material that solidifies on contact with air. The architect’s work is to deal with the psychology of space, perception, and love for man.
Other in situ works by artists: Miki Tallone, Flavio Paolucci, Adoka Niitsu. Lorenzo Cambin, Marta Margnetti.
Photographer: Alexandre Zveiger – Lugano TI
Photo credits: Alexandre Zveiger
Photos-souvenirs © Daniel Buren – ADAGP Paris /Davide Macullo