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Renovation of the Guesthouse “Les Prealpes” by Charly Jolliet Architecte

Prealpes Historical Guesthouse Renovation by Charly Jolliet Architecte

Title: Les Prealpes, renovation of a former historical guesthouse
Architect: Charly Jolliet Architecte
Photography credit: Charly Jolliet
Location: Les Sciernes-d’Albeuve, Switzerland
Year: 2018-2021







































The former guesthouse “Les Préalpes” is situated in a short distance from the famous sanatorium le Rosaire, in the Gruyère valley in Switzerland. It was originally a boarding house and a dairy factory. It became a place of social gathering when it was transformed into a guesthouse.

Thus its social importance, the building with its location, orientation, proportions, and design stands out within the village fabric: set back from the road protected nowadays with trees, facing the alps with crafted ribbons of glazed openings, wooden paneling, and balconies.

Over the years, the guesthouse was transformed. Different extensions were added on both sides of the original building losing the initial symmetrical layout in plan and elevation in favor of a large dining hall. After several years of being closed, the discussions about its renovation began in 2018.

The guesthouse was transformed from 2019 to 2021 into 3 apartments and a healthcare center. The public and private programs within the realms of the walls seek to maintain the building’s initial social identity.

A wide range of interventions was necessary to bring back a sense of wholeness and integrity to the building. The design of the openings, the cladding, and the large sign are based on the initial rhythm and crafted details of 1925. In order to provide more surface area. The interior staircase was moved to the rear of the building.

Nevertheless, the initial layout has been maintained: a central corridor with rooms on both sides, offering the main living spaces at the end of the corridor towards the view of the alps. In the attic, a new dormer was added for exterior symmetry and interior light. The solar panels on the cooper roof are integrated with care and provide renewable energy for the building.

The insulation meets the actual standards after stripping out all the former walls and leaving the structure bear. The former entrance and its stone stairs on the main façade were kept as a historical piece from the past.

Two years of craftsmanship for a century-old building.