Spend Christmas with the Zumthors

Monday 03 Dec 2012

Peter Zumthor-designed residences available to rent for the holiday season

While for many people, the festive season is about locking themselves at home with their loved ones to tuck into a week's worth of turkey and stuffing, indulging in sugary treats and the odd tipple, for others Christmas signifies an opportunity to travel the world and rest up in a remote cabin or cottage with select family and friends.

If you fall into the latter category, you’ll be pleased to hear that this year a beautiful timber residence in the mountainous region of Leis, Switzerland has become available to rent. For the first time ever, Peter and Annalisa Zumthor are opening up one of their cosy holiday homes in this quiet hamlet to the public, enabling them to rent The Unterhus for weeks at a time.

Peter and Annalisa Zumthor explain: “In 2009 we built two timber houses, the Oberhus and the Unterhus, in the hamlet of Leis, just over 1,500m above sea level in the community of Vals in Grisons. From 1 December 2012 onward we are letting out the Unterhus for vacations. A third timber house, the Turmlihus, will soon complete this little ensemble. The Turmlihus will welcome its first guests in autumn 2013. We are very much looking forward to having guests in our timber vacation homes in Leis.”

A tiny hamlet of around 20 people, Leis is a remote community set in the soaring mountains of Vals, south-east Switzerland. During the winter months, the area is doused in thick snow with opportunities to ski or gather round the fire of Leis’ only inn, whilst in the warmer seasons two families tend the mountain meadows.

Peter Zumthor’s designs have received high acclaim throughout his career, winning the architect the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 1999, Praemium Imperiale in 2008 and Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2009. In 2011 Zumthor completed his first architecture project in the UK after being invited to design the Serpentine Pavilion, a prestigious annual initiative which enables architects who have never realised a building in the UK to design a temporary structure in London’s Hyde Park.

The timber-clad Unterhus property sleeps 4-5 people over three floors with the top floor advertised as ‘an enclosed viewing platform [with] a balcony facing southwest’. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides provide uninterrupted views across the mountainous landscape, also viewable from the southwest-facing bedroom on the middle floor.

There are two bedrooms to choose from, one with a king-size bed and the other with two generous single beds which can be pushed together to form a double. A writing desk and day bed occupy the study which can be used as a workspace or additional bedroom, and the lounge on the top floor features a traditional wood-burning soapstone stove for added warmth.

Prices range from CHF 3,500-CHF 4,800. To enquire about availability please contact Zumthor Ferienhauser directly at Hohlstrasse 116, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland, on 0041 78 643 80 09 or via email at info@zumthorferienhauser.ch

Sian Disson
News Editor

We are now welcoming entries to the WAN AWARDS Residential Sector or WAN House of the Year Award. For more information please click here or contact James Forryan for the Residential Sector or Megan Cox for House of the Year.

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