Caruso St John House
Caruso St John House is a beautifully restored traditional Walser Strickbau house located in one of the most beautiful mountain villages of Graunbünden.
I love the spaciousness of the house, the living space with the spectacular 360-degree views, the openness to the surrounding landscape and the simultaneous feeling of coziness inside the house.
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guests can cancel free of charge up to 6 weeks before arrival.
Stay in a Peter Zumthor designed house in the middle of this amazing landscape.
Just a few steps below the Unterhus is the Restaurant Ganni, a small, welcoming mountain restaurant with a sun terrace.
Beautiful Therme Vals is open all-year to enjoy even more Zumthor architecture.
During Off-Season most of the restaurants in Vals are closed.
How would you describe The Unterhus in a nutshell?
The Unterhus is a real gem. Designed by Pritzker prize winner Peter Zumthor, it is a reinterpretation of the traditional timber houses of the area around Leis in Switzerland. The house is spacious and comfortable.
What was your motivation to build the Unterhus?
I really wanted to live in an old timber house in Vals. That wasn’t possible because there were no such houses to rent or buy. When I heard that there was a building plot for sale in Leis, a hamlet just above Vals, I knew immediately that that was the place where I wanted my dream of a timber house to come true. The plot was large enough for us to build two houses. So we built Oberhus for me and the Unterhus for Peter. Türmlihus completes this little ensemble. The Unterhus and the Türmlihus are available for rent to vacationers.
Please tell us a bit about your inspiration regarding the architecture and the interior design.
We like the visible construction of traditional timber houses. The houses are designed and built in this tradition. The interior reflects the exterior, and vice versa. The solid-beam construction — both an outer layer and an inner — has also determined the appearance of the interior of the houses. You can see the beams and feel the weight of the timber. The traditional Strickbau (literally ‘knitted construction’) building technique is clearly visible in all the rooms.
I love the spaciousness of the house, the living space with the spectacular 360-degree views, the openness to the surrounding landscape and the simultaneous feeling of coziness inside the house.Tthe windows are very large, so even when you are inside the house, you feel surrounded by the wonderful mountain scenery; the views are spectacular.
The houses are equipped with carefully selected designer furniture. The dining table, light fixtures, beds, daybed, bedside tables, coffee table and wooden wash basins are all designed by Peter Zumthor.
Even now, my heart beats faster and I have such a feeling of joy whenever I see the little chapel and the Unterhus, nestled close to each other!
Rucksacks, a water bottle and a thermos flask, binoculars, three pairs of hiking sticks, a hiking map of Vals, and the Handbuch Schweizer Alpen by Heinz Staffelbach with detailed information on Alpine flora and fauna, the region’s geology and weather, are all provided for our guests’ convenience.
One reason for staying in Leis/Vals is the world-famous Therme Vals spa designed by Peter Zumthor. Guests also come for the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the many opportunities for hiking and the family-friendly skiing on the Dachberg.
Mountain life is a simple one. The people live off the land and tourism. Vals and its surrounding area are still characterised by an almost archaic form of mountain farming. It’s quite incredible to see how the farmers harvest the hay on the steep slopes. Being in Leis means being surrounded by and living close to nature.
I have lived and worked in Vals for 10 years and fell in love with the broad slopes and opportunities for hiking in the mountains. Vals lies at the foot of a valley; there is no through traffic and no highway. Leis is located 300 meters above Vals. A dozen or more houses cluster around the chapel that dates from the early 17th century: bright, new timber houses nestle alongside the old houses, blackened by the sun. In Leis, visitors experience the clear mountain light, the fresh air that tingles like champagne, an intense starry sky at night, the fragrant flower-filled meadows or glistening snow-covered slopes: a sweeping mountain panorama. Peace and tranquility.
In Vals there is an Alpine dairy with a wonderful range of ecological products; there is also a baker’s shop, a grocery and two sports shops. And just a few steps below the Unterhus is the Restaurant Ganni, a small, welcoming mountain restaurant with a sun terrace. Anke and Carlo Tönz have created a varied menu of dishes using local and regional produce and seasonal specialties from the region of Grisons.
It’s always wonderful in Leis, no matter the weather or season. Therme Vals is open all-year to enjoy, and in spring the meadows all around Leis are carpeted with a riot of wildflowers.
Your contact details will allow you to message or book a property in the guest area. Sunshine awaits!
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