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Swish Chalet: An Alpine Remodel by Jonathan Tuckey

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Swish Chalet: An Alpine Remodel by Jonathan Tuckey

January 1, 2019

For several years now, Remodelista directory member Jonathan Tuckey of Jonathan Tuckey Design has been leading a double life. Based in London, where his firm is known for its inventive overhauls of old buildings, he’s also been busy remodeling vacation houses and designing performance spaces in the historic Swiss mountain village of Andermatt, where he now has a satellite office. He and his wife, Annabel, and their two kids also have a home base in the center of town, Halbhaus (Half House), a 17th-century timber-frame chalet that Tuckey transformed into the ultimate Alpine getaway, a few English comforts included. And when they’re not in residence, it’s available as a vacation rental.

Photography by James Brittain Photography, unless noted.

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Above: The heart of the house is a double-height kitchen and living area. Whitened wood paneling and flooring contrasts with the dark, custom-built kitchen and gray plastered walls.

Like the hat-shaped light? See 7 Favorites: Minimalist Brass Pendants.

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Above: Tuckey worked on the house with architect Ruedi Kreienbühl, his local collaborator. Originally the Siamese twin of its no-longer-standing next-door neighbor—the sloped, four-story structure was in good shape but low-ceilinged, dark, and spartan inside: “It had been looked after but hadn’t been updated,” Tuckey told House & Garden UK, “so there was one lightbulb per room, one plug socket per room, and one bathroom the size of a dining table.”
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Above: Built-in settees (that can double as extra beds) surround the sitting area’s woodstove. Tuckey added “a super-insulated hat” to the top of the house to ensure that it retains the heat.
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Above: “We engaged with the qualities already present in the traditionally constructed house and sought to amplify them,” writes Tuckey. The chalet’s furnishings are a mix of new and old, and include several pieces, such as the dining table and chairs, passed down from the previous owner. The flooring is original throughout. Photograph from Andermatt Chalet.
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Above: Pressed flowers matted with kraft paper create an under-the-stairs gallery. The blanket chest came out of the attic.
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Above L: A wide entryway/mudroom opens to the living area. Restored ladder-like wooden stairs connect the floors. Photograph from Andermatt Chalet. Above R: The stairs lead to what Tuckey describes as “a world of timber attic bedrooms nestling beneath the snow-covered roof.” Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.
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Above: The under-the-eaves master bedroom has a bed that’s intentionally low to lend a more casual atmosphere. To find your own Swiss mountain chair, see Julie’s Peasant Chair Roundup.
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Above: Halbhaus originally stood next to a house that was its mirror image, but was lost to a fire several decades ago. There’s great hiking and skiing not far beyond the front door. “But you are not surrounded by thousands of other people,” says Tuckey. “It’s still pretty quiet here, and that’s the great attraction.” Photograph via Andermatt Chalet.
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Above: An axonometric drawing details how the architects were able to open up the interior by creating a mezzanine level bedroom and office. The basement has a sauna and ski storage area.

For rental details, go to Andermatt Chalet. Tour another Tuckey remodel in The Life Aquatic: A London Mews House for a Submariner.

Planning a trip to the Alps (or designing your own mountain house)? Take a look at A Swiss Chalet B&B and A Ski Cabin by a World-Renowned Swiss Architect.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 29, 2016.

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