The Timber Houses in Leis

Annalisa had always dreamed of living in a house built of wood. Whenever she talked to me about it, in my mind’s eye I saw an intimate home in the mountains. Clearly she was describing a very personal vision. Was she thinking of the way Swiss mountain pine smells, a crackling fire in the living room stove, the special warmth of wood?

I don’t recall exactly what she said but I still have the feeling that there was something special about the house she described, something you only find in houses made of solid timber.

And now that house has been built. Light and bright in the hamlet of Leis with its age-blackened dwellings. We built another house next to it at the same time, a smaller sibling: two homes from the same family.

As you walk through our houses in Leis views open up on all sides. The solid timber has a tangiblepresence – soft and close to the body, it gleams gently and silkily in the light.

Peter Zumthor, January 2009