Faceted home in the Swiss Alps by JM Architecture is covered in dark grey tiles
Mottled grey tiles envelop this angular house in the Swiss Alps, which was designed by Milanese firm JM Architecture to look "like a stone in the landscape" (+ slideshow).
The jagged form and colouring of Montebar Villa were devised by Jacopo Mascheroni to help the home settle into its mountainous terrain in Medeglia.
The house sits on the edge of a slope above a valley and is surrounded by cattle-grazing pastures and vineyards. Its six-sided roof is angled to match the incline of the mountains and a glass curtain wall on its south side gives views over the valley.
"The project was created around the local building code, which imposes each house to have a dark grey pitched roof for a better integration with the environment," explained Mascheroni.
"Starting from this constraint, the idea developed into an homogeneous solution using the same material for both the roof and facades, in order to provide the building with a monolithic aspect, like a stone in the landscape."
The house is made from prefabricated timber elements chosen to help insulate it from the region's cold winters. Over 20 centimetres of insulation within the walls and roof is coupled with underfloor heating help to further fend off the weather.
The whole structure is clad in rows of grey porcelain stoneware tiles to create a "pure and simple form". The edges of the tiles are cut at an angle to allow them to slot together and create a flush surface.
A strip of light around the base of the house differentiates is from the patch of grey gravel it sits on.
EXE Studio also combined tile and shingle cladding for a mountain dwelling in western Serbia, which references both the region's traditional and contemporary styles.
"Every face of the shell has been designed tile by tile, with a dynamic pattern composed with three different formats, and many tiles have mitred edges," said Mascheroni.
Folding shutters are covered in the same material, which align with the facade pattern when closed to create a uniform appearance.
Rooms within the irregular hexagonal plan are primarily arranged over one floor, but two children's bedrooms have mezzanines in the roof space.
Like the gently angled walls, the roof is pitched to minimise its impact on the terrain, with its tallest point towards the back of the site and its lowest towards the slope.
"The six-sided roof is offset toward the mountain and it's calibrated to have the largest side with the same mountain inclination, for a better integration with the landscape," said Mascheroni.
A loggia set into the glazed living and large triple-glazed windows help to ventilate the property during warmer months.
Photography is by Jacopo Mascheroni.
Architecture: JM Architects
Principal: Jacopo Mascheroni
Project manager: Diego Magrì
Structural engineer: Messi & Associati
MEP engineer: Alternativa Energetica
Prefabricated structure: Rihter
Cladding: Geos Italy
Curtain wall and windows: Casma Involucri Edilizi
Waterproofing: Acqua Risolta
Lighting: Oty Light
Plumbing: Acqua Design