A simple, ordinary boulder in the Swiss Alps, right? Nothing to see here. Nothing unusual, nothing remarkable, nothing surprising.
Actually, that couldn’t be more wrong. Because the interior of this “rock” looks like this:
That’s right. This “boulder” is actually a micro shelter constructed to blend in perfectly with its natural surroundings.
The Swiss boulder house was designed and constructed by Bureau A as part of a 6-week residency with Verbier 3D Foundation.
The home is named “Antoine,” after the main character of a novel called Derborence by Swiss author Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. In the novel, an avalanche buries part of the valley of Lizerne. Antoine survives in the avalanche, but it takes him seven weeks before he is able to make it back to his village.
The interior of the house is simple, and has a surprisingly regular “house-like” shape. While it doesn’t have everything needed for a totally comfortable existence, it does have most of the basics.
A floating table can be lowered down from the wall, as can floating benches on either side. That way there is a full-size table for dining, but the rest of the time, the space is open.
There is a small furnace and also a bed, stool, and window.
Here are a couple more shots of the “boulder” in the natural environment which show you the window and the door clearly from the outside. What a strange sight that would be if you just stumbled across it.
How does the “house” fit inside the boulder? These shots from the construction phase give you a better understanding of how it was all put together.
Here is the boulder house in transit to its site.
The house is also evocative of the concept of hidden bunkers, a military practice which has long been common among the Swiss.
Today, the house remains installed on its site, where a lot of people drive past it on a regular basis on their way to various destinations. Many of these people take no notice of, assuming that it is simply another rock in the landscape. But if you are ever traveling in the Swiss alps and happen across it, you will know better. You can find out more about it at A-Bureau.