House « La Monaye » | Sugiez

Project: 2016 - 2019
Mandate: renovation of a dwelling located in an agricultural zone
Owner of the project: private
Type of mandate: direct
Architecture: ds architecte
Collaborator(s): Dominique Schmutz
Construction management: ds architecte
Photographies: ds architecte
Site area: 1466 m2
Useable area: 175 m2

Construction Program

Transformation of the existing building with the addition of an apartment for family use on the ground floor and a second rental apartment in the attic.


The renovation project retains the architectural substance, spirit and identity of the existing house. As a solitary object, the house leaves a significant footprint on the landscape. From the interior, it allows spatial relationships to unfold in a circular manner into four cardinal points.

The configuration of the location, isolated from any buildings, between the Broye canal and Mount Vully, allows the layout of a cross ground plan. In order to give space hierarchy between the inside of the building and the outside, this oriented plan allows a central reference point to unfold over the landscape. Extending this space are loggias that are inserted into the house volume to frame the landscape and create two areas of external privacy zones sheltered from the elements.

The living area is the center of the composition and allows the four adjoining rooms to be directly connected at the corners, thus creating a functional convergence of the house. This layout creates visual threads and crossed spatial perceptions.

The entrance is located to the south off Chaumont Road in an area hollowed out of the house’s volume. It is indicated by the external staircase and the framework of the upper landing. A small entrance on the ground floor provides a view through the house to the south, then gradually towards the different rooms. Upstairs, a second apartment opens onto the two gables of the north and south facades. It uses the roof volume to create differentiated spaces.

The facades reflect the different spaces and show a significant difference between the large windows cavities and the exterior walls with their differently sized and composed openings that relate to the spirit of the old building.


The use of raw and refined materials was given preference. The sandblasted concrete of the building base and window sills is a mixture of Jura stone and white cement. It evokes the yellow stone embrasures of regional vineyard houses. The architectural elements comply with local building codes and are composed of a double wall in terracotta brick with mineral plaster and a roof in natural red terracotta tiles. The unpainted wooden windows, the shutters contained in the embrasures and the large roof all underline the stable character of a house made with the intention of being sustainable.

The exceptionally beautiful surrounding landscape is highlighted by the contrasting sober character of the interior rooms.