Lake Silvaplana



HIRT kinetics®
  • SF 90
Project Partner
  • Hirt Metallbau AG

This house overlooking Lake Silvaplana reveals its true magic when the window is lowered

The Engadin is known for its light, its winds, and its rough, honest nature. This large panorama window opens up a spectacular view of the landscape and sky while leaving the wild weather firmly outside thanks to its perfect thermal insulation. But when the summer sunlight dances across the lake, the retractable window, part of the HIRT kinetics® SF 90 series, invites the Engadin right into the living room and lets you experience nature with all your senses.

HIRT moving architecture® rethinks the art of building and opens up undreamt-of dimensions.

The Engadin: A place of longing

The Engadin (or Engadine) is an 80-kilometre-long mountain valley in the Swiss canton of the Grisons, and a true place of power. Its name is derived from the river Inn, called “En” in Romansh, which rises in this region. Also called the “green Inn” due to the colour of its water, the river shapes the landscape of the Alps like no other before finally flowing into the blue Danube at Passau. The elongated Alpine valley is one of the highest settled valleys of Europe and possesses a magic all of its own. Many have fallen in love with these mountains, the light, and the vastness of the landscape.

However, life here also holds its challenges, as at an altitude of more than 1,600 meters, nature is many things: rugged like the cliffs, green like the Alpine meadows, and gentle like the rays of the sun.  Here, you can still find primal Swiss pine forests and turquoise blue lakes, and the peaks are covered in winter snow for months at a time. If you love unspoilt nature, you will find your happiness in the Engadin, where untouched landscapes alternate with classy spa towns like St. Moritz, creating an attractive mix of nature and culture. But while St. Moritz is world-famous for its luxury and jet set, the eyes of water sports enthusiasts light up at the mention of Lake Silvaplana, a mecca of surfers and kite surfers. Many also visit simply to watch the athletes as they harness the wind and perform spectacular tricks on the water. All the while, the unique mountain panorama works its magic in the background, whether the sun is shining, the first snow is falling, or a thunderstorm rages.

In some places, the view resembles that on an old postcard, or a painting come to life. And it is just such a beautiful panorama of Lake Silvaplana, the mountain forests, and rock formations for which architect and interior decorator have set the stage in this living room. After all, who needs art on the walls when you can have this view instead? Here, the living room becomes a gallery for nature itself.

The wooden window shutter is moveable as well and can be lowered easily. The HIRT kinetics® technology works not only with windows, but also garage doors and even massive walls.

In good weather, you can expand the living room as if by magic. The vastness, light, and mountains shape how it feels to live here.

A reinterpretation of the window seat opens up entirely new possibilities

Despite wood lattice windows being a typical architectural element of the Engadin, the clients made the deliberate choice for a modern, large panorama window. Where in the traditional building style, the light might only have entered the room via two small windows, they instead went to the very limits of statics, and created an oversized opening to the outside. No masonry limits the view, as the wall seems to have simply disappeared without a trace.

This clever trick turns the panorama window into the highlight of the room. It draws attention towards nature with all its fascinating colours, shapes, and variances. But there are more surprising details to be discovered. For the window is intended as a seat. To this end, the outer windowsill has been covered in wood, creating a bench for the terrace that radiates an air of comfort and cosiness. With the window open, you can sit here, halfway between inside and outside – enjoying the sun, watching the clouds go by, and contemplating the mountain backdrop. To achieve this, the architect has dug deep into his bag of tricks: The window is no ordinary window, nor a sliding door – but rather a retractable window by HIRT kinetics®, which lowers itself into the ground at the press of a button to invite the Engadin right into the living room: The warm rays of the sun tickle your skin while a gentle breeze wafts through the room, bringing with it the scent of the Alpine summer. And when the Engadin shows its wild side, the retractable front stays closed and the harsh weather, outside.

Especially during winter, the rough nature of the Engadin requires a thorough insulation. A window shutter provides additional protection against the elements and makes for even greater comfort.

Playing with motion: HIRT moving architecture® creates a “wow” effect

HIRT moving architecture® does away with rigid buildings. The clever technology revolutionises architecture and quite literally puts things in motion. The retractable windows in the HIRT kinetics® series are always custom manufactured. You decide what features you want: triple layer glazing, nano sealing to achieve a lotus effect, sun protection, and more. HIRT windows meet the highest standards when it comes to energy efficiency, safety, and tightness. HIRT technology is 100 percent weather-resistant, having proven itself in salty air, tropical heat, and the icy cold.

By the way: The example of the “window seat at Lake Silvaplana” also serves as an impressive demonstration of how the technology behind HIRT kinetics® is useable not only for windows. To provide protection against storms or wintery cold, the same principle is used here to allow wood-panelled shutters to be raised at the press of a button. Garage doors and even entire walls can be moved just as easily.

Whether it’s a floor-length panorama window or a cosy window seat: Change the way you think about walls and windows. Magic them away with HIRT moving architecture® and bring a piece of nature into your home!

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