Matteo Inches raises the roof of a home to create living space

Studio Inches raises the roof of a Swiss home to create a lofty living space

The tiled roof of this residence in Switzerland has been raised by one metre to provide extra height for the newly renovated spaces within. 

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

The house, which is owned by an elderly couple and located in the southern Swiss town of Solduno, was refurbished and extended by architect Matteo Inches and his firm Studio Inches, based in the nearby city of Locarno.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

While parts of Casa Desgraz date back to the beginning of the 20th century, others were added as recently as the 1960s, resulting in an amalgamation of several different forms.

But strict local planning restrictions prevented the relatively new exterior from being significantly altered.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

"The project deals with the local building laws applied to constructions in a protected nucleus zone that don't allow existing openings to be modified or the typology of the roof to be changed," explained Inches.

"Due to these restrictions the structural envelope was not changed."

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

Just within the parameters of the restrictions was a small vertical extension, which allowed for an extra metre of wall to be inserted below a pitched roof with overhanging eaves.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

While the exterior had to remain largely unchanged, Inches took the opportunity to completely gut and rebuild the interior spaces.

Double-height spaces were opened up to house a first-floor living room, and walls and floors were lined with planks of oak.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

"The double-height space in the living room increases the perception of verticality and size of the space as well as allowing a visual and acoustic connection between the sleeping area and the lower spaces," said Inches.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

"Wood is applied as the main finishing material; it is used like a coating that wraps the spaces and increases the perception of being enclosed in a private, warm and domestic environment," he continued.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

The interior layout was reorganised, with utility rooms and a guest suite set at ground level, and the living and dining area positioned on the double-height floor above.

A master suite and en-suite bathroom occupy the uppermost floor, below the new roof.

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

A timber staircase emerges onto an internal balcony to one side of this upper-floor bathroom, which is contained within a curving pod suspended above one corner of the lounge.

The small balcony was envisaged as a reading room, so that the couple can "feel the presence of the other person despite being on a separate level".

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches

Photography is by Simone Bossi.


Project credits:

Architect: Studio Inches
Project team: Matteo Inches, Nastasja Geleta, Vincenzo Rothen

Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches
Site plan – click for larger image
Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches
First floor plan – click for larger image
Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Casa Desgraz by Matteo Inches
Sections – click for larger image