Refugi Lieptgas: Concrete Cabin by Nickisch Sano Walder Architekten

Concrete Cabin Circular Skylight

Refugi Lieptgas was built to replace a pre-existing log cabin, and occupies the same footprint that it once stood on. The Swiss Alps have famously stringent planning rules, and the permission stated that the ‘character of the persisting cabin’ was to be kept. Personally I don’t agree that this was achieved, but the architects certainly took a creative, and humorously ironic, approach to the task which has to be admired.

Concrete Bathtub by Nickisch Sano Walder Architekten

Refugi Lieptgas Concrete Exterior Moulded from Old Timber Cabin

So to retain the character of the historic cabin, the distinctive exterior of this concrete house was cast with the previous structure’s timber walls as a mould. The negative profile of these traditional round logs creates the concave peaks and troughs of Refugi Lieptgas’ walls; in effect the new building is a fossil of the old cabin complete with all its natural imperfections.

From a distance Refugi Lieptgas looks like a traditional wooden hut. Taking a closer look you will actually find that this cabin is made of concrete. The old barn that stood here previously characterises the appearance of the new building. By using the logs of the block construction as a formwork for the concrete a fossilized version of the old barn has been created.Urlaubs Architecktur

Refugi Lieptgas Concrete Cabin in Swiss Alps Snow

This structure might seem extremely small in stature, but what we see here is only the top portion of the dwelling that protrudes above the ground. However Refugi Lieptgas is certainly compact by anyone’s standards with a floorplan of just 40m².

Entrance Kitchen Dining Area of Refugi Lieptgas

Minimalist Concrete and Plywood Kitchen in Refugi Lieptgas

Concrete Bedroom with Industrial Light Fitting

The exposed volume features the minimalist kitchen and living room, but a staircase — also in concrete — takes inhabitants down to a lower level with this unique bedroom — which you’ve no doubt seen before as an unsourced image on countless tumblr blogs.

Downstairs Concrete Bedroom and Bath Overlooking Cliffside

Refugi Lieptgas was built on a slope so this partially underground bedroom, and its built-in concrete bath, overlooks a jagged rocky surface; a small crevice between manmade and natural stone.

Crevice Between Concrete and Natural Stone

Minimalist Dining Area with Large Window

Minimalist Concrete Living Room Fireplace in Refugi Lieptgas

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