Mountain hideaway hidden inside concrete boulder in the Alps

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Mountain hideaway hidden inside a concrete boulder in the Alps

Swiss studio Bureau A has concealed a wooden cabin inside an artificial rock and transported it to a remote site in the Swiss Alps.

Antoine by Bureau A

Bureau A, a studio led by architects Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide, designed the mountain shelter to pay tribute to the central character in the novel Derborence by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz.

Antoine by Bureau A

In the story, a shepherd named Antoine becomes trapped amongst rocks after a landslide, and survives there for seven weeks before finding his way home. The structure is named Antoine after him.

Antoine by Bureau A

"The mountains have the power to call for feelings of fascination and fear at the same time," said the architects. "Switzerland has a strong tradition of observing the Alps, living with them, hiding inside them."

Antoine by Bureau A

The shelter comprises a simple wooden cabin, encased within a concrete shell with the form of a huge rock. The interior is only revealed by a pair of small windows and a recessed doorway.

Antoine by Bureau A

Inside, the knotty timber has been left exposed on walls, floors and ceilings. Flaps fold down from the walls to create seating, a table and a bed, so that one person can stay comfortably inside.

Antoine by Bureau A

"Antoine creates an Alpine shelter, a precarious 'Existenzminimum' somewhat subversive in its use where one can freely enter and hide," said the architects, whose past projects include a pavilion made from recycled windows and a performance space on a tricycle.

Antoine by Bureau A

"It contains the very basic architectural elements – fireplace, bed, table, stool, window – but demands to the visitor some risk taking, as the rock hangs literally on the rock fall field," they added.

Antoine by Bureau A

The project was commissioned to host artist residencies for a programme run by the Verbier 3d Foundation. It was built by hand in a mountain village and transported to the site of the back of a lorry.

Photography is by Dylan Perrenoud.

Antoine by Bureau A
Floor plan – click for larger image
Antoine by Bureau A
Section one – click for larger image
Antoine by Bureau A
Section two – click for larger image