Caruso St John House is a beautifully restored traditional Walser Strickbau house located in one of the most beautiful mountain villages of Graunbünden.
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.