It’s hard to imagine the previous life of this minimalist home in Montreux, Switzerland. Designed in 1911 to house railroad workers building the line connecting Montreux and Rochers-de-Naye, the no-frills house was constructed with large stone blocks that were found while digging the railway.
It has now been transformed into a cool, sleek country residence by architect (and owner) Ralph Germann. The renovation involved fusing what was originally configured as three apartments linked by a central staircase into one unified space. Only the stairs and its walnut handrail and wrought iron balusters were maintained.
A spare living room and kitchen are situated on the the ground floor, where a garden also resides outside. The master bedroom has been placed at the center of the house, while the children’s rooms are at the top. Concrete partitions and walls and wood floors and built-ins establish a sleek but warm atmosphere, where spaces are open and doors are used sparingly. Instead, sliding doors conceal themselves within the walls and wooden screens are employed to create separate zones. Wood burning stoves heat the property, which is set into a sloping hillside that offers stunning views of the Alps and Lake Geneva. Take a look.