Swisshouse XXII Rossa
Design Davide Macullo Architects; Daniel Buren,
Davide Macullo; collaboration: Mario Cristiani
Picture credits Alexandre Zveiger; photos-souvenirs
© 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, 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. 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 at the end of the valley, where the powerful force of nature expresses itself, its presence revealing to us our measure in the world. 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.
Swisshouse 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. It is an enclosure that defines a dynamic space. The points of view and the light penetrations work on the perception of time. It is an unbroken line of emotions. Each aperture is calibrated and oriented towards selected views of the surrounding landscape.
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. Artists strive to show us ways that we had not before thought of, by opening us up to new worlds within our daily life and making us reflect on existence in every sense. Art is a necessity that allows us to grow and communicate the essentials. The cross in vertical projection, the rounding of the edges and the simple torsion of the roof make it dynamic and reinterprets the archetype as a testimony to the fact that the reasons for making are inexhaustible, that buildings are our public art, just as the nature that surrounds us is not always the same, but morphs and moves, taking on new meanings depending on how we look at it. Our wonder makes us curious and nurtures creativity. It makes it a pleasure to ask questions and find the role of art in life.
This work is the first step of a humble but very ambitious project: the desire to influence a joyful vision of the future, far from wars, and seek counsel in the surprising ability of children to marvel at the world, to whom this work is dedicated.