One such far-reaching architect, “Rudolf Olgiati” majorly known for his work on French-Riviera; born in the town of Chur, Switzerland on 7th September 1910, living through the life in valleys and falls in the surroundings, Olgiati graduated from the Grisons Canton School in Chur and pursued his desire in art history from the Swiss federal institute of technology, Zurich in 1934.

Moving forefront with the time frame, we tend to recall classics from the ages before; the art that evolved with forms presently around, which further took the shape of an enduring bust. There are no limits to the art that is made; a step of elevation is to be achieved with the experience of work. The lasting effect of such a figure is seen through the passing of phases in the field of architecture. One such far-reaching architect, “Rudolf Olgiati” majorly known for his work on French-Riviera; born in the town of Chur, Switzerland on 7th September 1910, living through the life in valleys and falls in the surroundings, Olgiati graduated from the Grisons Canton School in Chur and pursued his desire in art history from the Swiss federal institute of technology, Zurich in 1934.

Rudolf Olgiati- Experimenting with cubism among the Alps - Sheet1
Haus Urech Chur 1sm ©http://ctr.myvnc.com/

It was the year of 1955 when Rudolf Oligati began with his practice in architecture in Switzerland. The style Olgiati captured was more in a cubical form, but being very precise to the context of the place. The experimentation of this style remained throughout with the Grison’s local architectural tradition. His ideologies moreover dealt with architecture and its expression on the residents. 

Rudolf Olgiati mainly built family homes and restored the old farmhouses and patrician houses. Olgiati had a feature to stand out the structure with-in the built form, though surrounded by the nature trail, the built spaces significantly stood out with bright white plaster.

The blend of materials was carefully threaded onto the site, being aware of the ambiance and factors he had a play for colors very minimally with white and browns on the facades.

The form was very stagnant with Olgiati, he carved a cubical impression and molded it into a new identity. Seen from his designs the roof was sloped into a gable roof or a saltbox roof profile that had become the shape of his entire design style.

Rudolf Olgiati- Experimenting with cubism among the Alps - Sheet2
Haus Weissenburger Flims-Waldhaus 1sm ©http://www.archipicture.eu/

The Bauhaus movement bought a change in the design strategy with some methodological steps, the bifurcation of new times needed their expression on planning and design, with the world war II coming to an end the need and for shelter scaled up, about in 1952, there was a significant change in modernism from what it derived to be called functionalism, the progressive world was meeting with high masses and exposed structural needs where-in the opposite was been observed with modernism coming into the picture.

Rudolf Olgiati- Experimenting with cubism among the Alps - Sheet3
Prau Las Caglias3 1sm ©http://ctr.myvnc.com/

Olgiati had adopted the impression and in makeshift experimented with the projects in-hand. In the year of 1947, he was commissioned to build a residence for a Doctor, the design seemed to be very customary and direct for a home, gabled roof and entryway seemed a sufficient idea for living. Years passed by and the after-effects of war were settled down and a rise in requirements of lifestyle. In 1956, Olgiati coined a trademark for his style with a natural stone slab for the roofing materials, which projected beyond the perimeter walls and feebly worked as sun-shades for the house, yet to be developing the style as a formal language.

In the year 1972 “Society for Good Old Architecture” was set upright by Olgiati and Paul Grediger. The main goal was to pursue the old patrician houses and convert them into a valuable property, such an example was set by ‘Von Planta House’. The property acquired from 1684 was developed into ready to move in apartments in the lot. The locally iconic pediment was restored and made available to sell, to save it from deteriorating. Olgiati’s prime time in architecture practice was leaned towards the residential projects and family homes all regionally placed in Chur, Flims, and plans.

Rudolf Olgiati- Experimenting with cubism among the Alps - Sheet4
Umbau Haus Von Planta Malans ©http://www.archipicture.eu/

In benefit of the projects, Olgiati experimented on façades with irregularly arranged windows and entry points acting as a cynosure for the passer-by, as seen in an Apartment building “Urech Heroldstrasse” 1972, the form expanded through the entire building making it a singular roof profile, he introduced fiber cement as roof slabs here, puncturing them with chimneys connecting them with fireplace in every apartment. His thoughts on le Corbusier were observed in form and space created, being simple in terms of the design with its feature the building naturally set in prevailing terms of the site. As he set an example through his works on how architecture can build a society from within, not being too loud with his projects they delicately conveyed this message to the community.

His portrayal for design conveyed a message of simplicity, elements without any ornamentation, use of basic geometric shapes, maintaining order, and essential quality. A blueprint sculpted into the home by mere thoughts in him, inherent to these notions his architecture will speak for years to come and will continue to inspire the young designers on how minimal changes can reflect on time and generations.

Author

"Atharva Dixit, forthcoming to be an Architect, with a quench on adventure and looping on the diversity bounded by the profession. He makes an appearance through his writings on vivid cultures by virtue of his scope and peculiar taste in music. He’s fueled with exuberance to comply and work along with a cup of coffee."

Write A Comment