Swiss House Rossa – Sinusoïde, permanent work in situ

by Daniel Buren & Davide Macullo

In collaboration with Mario Cristiani – Galleria Continua

Swiss House Rossa represents the constant commitment to build in the respect of places, to give a meaning to our every gesture to help our understanding of civilization.

It is a work of integration between art and architecture, a habitable sculpture and an architecture that needs art to be completed, also from the profile of its primary function, that of protecting man from the bad weather.

Daniel Buren involved him because during the years of our formation, through his recognizable signs, he taught us the pleasure to the synthesis in observing the beauty of nature. Today we have a permanent work in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

We enter this space, fabricated by the place: a fantastic environment, yet real. So right, as we want the world to be.

the Calanca Valley, when you go there you forget things as you know them. The way to get to the bottom is short, but it is a long journey a lifetime.

Once inside, the valley closes, front opens the door of dreams.

Rocky walls, forests, fields are soft, undated, the work of centuries of men and women, heats us. The rock tells us, the story of the Birth of the Earth, and how much it had to move, to give us this lucky place.

Rossa is a place of memory where simplicity is made civility. Our task is to continue this art of love for the territory through humble but indelible gestures. It is a village in the Swiss Alps at 1100 meters of altitude almost at the end of the valley, where nature expresses itself by prevaricating the will of human beings and helps them to relativize their presence in the world.

Building In this context means following the signs of the past in their essence, of the peace of a place that catalyzes energies difficult to describe. The apparent urban simplicity of the place is a complex weave of balances between men and stones used to build their own habitat.

Nothing here is new. Each object is devoured and amalgamated by history and nature and where it still resists the commodification of the territory both physical and spiritual.

Swiss House stands spatially along a line of volumes of patrician houses that form a conglomerate around the village church. With the new volume we underline this axis both in a physical way (resumption of the “patrician” volume) and conceptual (affirmation of a will beyond our permanence).

The cross in vertical projection, the rounding of the edges and the simple twist of the roof make dynamic and revisit the archetype of the “house”. The one designed by the children: two vertical lines, two diagonal flaps, holes to let the light in. It’s the same thing-house, but completely different.

It is the archetype reinvented to testify that the reasons for doing are inexhaustible and that the buildings are our public art, as well as the nature that surrounds us is not always the same, but changes and assumes new meanings depending on how we observe it.


It is a fence that defines a dynamic space. The points of view and the penetrations of light work on the perception of time, from the absence to the speed of instantaneous scrolling of the images. It’s an uninterrupted line of emotions. Each opening is calibrated and oriented on glimpses of the chosen landscape. Every point of view is different and every breath of the landscape suggests different things.

The buried parts are in reinforced concrete, the upper volume entirely in wood, without interpreting the traditional type of construction of the Alps, but using it as it is.