Jorge Canete is a multiple award winning architect based in Switzerland. His design creations are spread across the countries. Each design Jorge has created are distinctive and bears his signature style.
The architect – designer spoke to Johnny D of Design Trends about the Swiss Chalet in the Alps:
Johnny D: What was the brief of the client?
Jorge Canete: It all started with the client’s wish to subdue the place. There were too much of ‘fire’ and a lot of wood were used. The space had to be ‘cooled down’ by creating a subtle ambience for the couple.
JD: Tell us something interesting about the first Client – Designer’s Meeting.
JC: The client (a couple) were very spiritual in nature, who have travelled extensively around the world. They liked the idea of a Japanese retreat, as a small monastery, would make their abode perfect – A place isolated to meditate and spend quiet times.
JD: Please enlighten Design Trends about Jorge Canete’s approach to designing the project.
JC: The main approach is to find relevant design concepts by three major inspirational sources: the Environment, the Location and the Client’s Taste. The result is always coherent and unique when a designer combines these three elements together.
JD: What were the main challenges faced by your ‘Team’? How did they overcome them?
JC: The main challenge is always to materialize the emotions of our clients. We create a unique story each time that reflects who they are in real time. Our job is to be a ‘mirror’ that reflects perfectly as their desire and personality.
Please elaborate various designing elements incorporated in the project.
JC: A refuge with a Japanese touch:
In the entrance to the chalet a tiny house has been placed on a rock on a white column. This intrinsically sums up the history and the will of being a peaceful place, which is set in isolation on the top of a steep hill in the Swiss Alps. Work by New York artist Yankus, an ancient Kakemono from Kyoto, a contemporary Portuguese armchair and many other artefact establish a dialogue in the setting of a Swiss chalet were incorporated to create the ambiance.
The Jizo statue is a central figure in the project. It appears as an iron statue set in the stairwell. It is, in fact, a Bodhisattva who has renounced enlightenment! It sets the tone to the site with a sober, serene and contemplative Japanese atmosphere. The Old Bells from Valais suspended near the Japanese statue, suggest the bells of distant monasteries.
Behind the scenes: A purposeful bareness, a contrast between the chalet’s tortured rough old wood and the delicacy of an ephemeral white flower, perched on the railing of the stairway. There are also tawny, reddish, animal- like colours and the sensuality of fur and leather to converse with humble items such as the tree trunks of the bookcase, with the pristine scrolls or the ancient wood of the central staircase.
It is also an encounter of the profane (the “Love me I’m useless” cushion) and the sacred (flying monastic candles). Nature pervades the privacy of the rooms: ivy sleeps on cushions with reflections of swallows, while mosses appear in miniature imaginary gardens and adorn the bathroom hangers.
Spiritual pilgrimages: The feathers in the lock of a door symbolizing a talisman evocate of life’s travel, just like birds taking free flights detached from everything in the universe. A cross between rough armchair upholstery, Kakemono with a Haiku inscription, a cushion that alludes to the paradox of things and many other signs bear testimony of our stay in a moment, frozen in time
JD: What was the total area of the project?
JC: 2690 sq. ft. area JD: What was the client’s first reaction when you handed over the project?
JC: The client was very happy with the end result! They felt we had designed the perfect ambience for them to relax and spend contemplative restful days in the mountains.
JD: Please enlighten us about Jorge Canete’s Signature Style.
JC: A poetic style that mixes modernity and memories of remote times.
JD: Please mention 5 major awards won by Jorge Canete.
JC: – Interior Designer of the Year, Build Architecture Awards ‘15
– Finalist WIN Awards, Best International Residential Project, London ‘15
– Gold Winner, International Design Awards, Interior Design, Los Angeles ‘15
– Best International Designer of the Year awarded by ANDREW MARTIN, ‘14
– Best of the Year Honoree, Interior Design Award, New York City ‘13
– Winner IIDA Global Excellence Award, Maison & Objet, Paris ‘12
Swiss Chalet in the Alps :
Photo Courtesy: The Architect