tiny house in a boulder

The tiny house meets boulder-tecture with Bureau A's Antoine. (Photos: Bureau A/Dylan Perrenoud)

That time of year is nearing again.

That time of year when normally gracious holiday hosts and hostesses reach their breaking points after days on end of cooking, cleaning and undermining commentary from the in-laws. It’s a time of year one many of us want to flee — to the garage, to the gym, to the toolshed, to anywhere that provides refuge from the tinsel-covered madness.

I think I’ve found the perfect place — somewhere no one will find you.

Designed by Geneva-based architecture firm Bureau A, the hideaway in question is an exceptionally well-camouflaged one-room wood cabin tucked inside a massive concrete boulder and installed on a craggy mountainside in the Swiss Alps. We’ve seen similarly Flintstonian living arrangements before but none are quite as convincing as this clever boulder bolthole. Just ignore the small square window and the smoke coming from the top of the boulder. That being said, the surrounding landscape plays a central role in the effectiveness of this super-deceptive dwelling — it wouldn’t quite work placed in a suburban backyard.

inside of the boulder house

Dubbed "Antoine" — a nod to"Derborence," a novel by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz in which the protagonist spends much of the book buried underneath a pile of rocks — the structure, complete with woodstove, window and built-in furnishings including a fold-out table, was conceived by Bureau A as “a tribute to the alpine experience and to the writer.”

Explain the designers:

The small wooden cabin, big enough for the life of one man, is hidden inside a projected concrete rock. Referring to the long lasting Swiss tradition of hidden bunkers, the project integrates the highly urbanised landscape of the Alps. Already described by the French philosopher Paul Virilio in 1975, military architecture conducted by principles of camouflage has, for long, fascinated the architects.
Antoine — both the tiny house and the boulder that encapsulates it — was constructed in the celeb-heavy ski village of Verbier as part of a six-week artist residency. When completed, before it was up the side of a mountain in a flatbed truck to its final destination at the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park, an open-air Alpine art museum. Joining four other monumental works, Antoine is currently on display as part of the 3-D Foundation’s Alpine wilderness-celebrating  “Mutations: Contemporary Sculpture In Context” exhibition. The exhibition runs through July 2016, so if you can’t escape from the bickering and bad behavior this holiday season, there’s always next year. 

faux boulder home hidden in the snow

Watch Antoine's journey up the side of a mountain with musical accompaniment from, naturally, the Rolling Stones.

Via [Designboom]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.