This charming Engadine-style house in Bever, Switzerland, has been a year-round holiday home for the past three decades. Over the centuries uses have included a rectory, a farm, an artisan’s workshop and even the residence of a practitioner of mesmerism.
Although the first record of the structure dates to 1762, its cellar walls go back to the 12th century.
With its Engadine roots, the heritage-listed chateau has the potential to become an architectural trophy home. The design tradition is characterized by thick walls, deep-set windows and archways. Plastered exterior walls are often decorated with artistically engraved patterns known as sgraffito.
The appealing quirks are evident from the decorative front door. Diamond windows with metal scrollwork flank the arched portal, while the wood door itself displays a pattern of adjoining chevrons that create and mirror the window shape.
Perhaps the architectural whimsy of the house is most apparent in the inviting eat-in kitchen, where an irregular, gently rounded plaster ceiling hugs a wall of burled wood with open shelving. The wood surface is repeated in the custom hood and peninsula. A splash of white tile and white walls complete the look.
Curving shapes continue in the living room, where a wide bottle-shaped fireplace, another arched door and thick wooden ceiling beams add layers of character.
The more than 500 square meters of living space, about 5,400 square feet, is spread over two floors adorned with carefully maintained period details. There are six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The middle section of the property was built in the 1950s and includes a two-car garage, a studio above it and a barn used for storing tools and equipment. There are up to four outdoor parking spaces as well.
A new owner could demolish this portion of the house and would be permitted to rebuild on the same footprint. A feasibility study is in hand.
Vistas take in a protected greenbelt and the scenic Bever Valley, which has been the inspiration for many a fairy tale.
Bever is a small village in Upper Engadine in eastern Switzerland. Winter pastimes include cross-country skiing, sledding and horse-drawn carriage rides. A number of ski resorts are nearby. Hiking is popular year round.
The village is within 10 kilometers, about 6 miles, of the alpine resort town of St. Mortiz, which has an abundance of restaurants, shopping and a cosmopolitan vibe.