Contemporary Alpine House by Ralph Germann Architectes

Set in Fribourg, in the Swiss Pre-Alps, the Contemporary Alpine House was built for a couple who desired a harmonious environment, while also requiring enough space for 20 guests to come and gather. Ralph Germann architects took on the design and spent time in the surrounding area soaking up the local architecture. Inspired by local farmhouses with simple forms and volumes, the home’s design reflects those elements.


The main materials chosen for the project were: larch (facades, interior furniture, and fixtures), concrete and lime (interior walls).


The 5 meter high fireplace was custom made and was built with 8mm thick plates of laminated steel.


With sustainability in mind, they installed a heating system that uses a wood pellet stove.


The kitchen comes with simple concrete islands that provide plenty of counter space and break up all the white cabinets.



I love how the stairs have embedded lighting so you’ll easily find your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack.


A super long library space was custom built on the second floor of the residence to house their collection of books. Windows let you enjoy the light and view while you sit and read a book at the counter.


In the basement, they’ve designed a 20 meter long swimming pool and spa area.



When entering, you’ll spot one of the key features to the house – a 35 meter long wall sculpture created by Swiss artist Thierry Kupferschmid that’s made of Corten steel.


Photos by Lionel Henriod.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.