Peak Viewing
Wallpaper|April 2019

Swiss bliss at a property developer’s Klosters chalet.

Jonathan Bell
Designer and property developer Mike Spink is a 25-year veteran of the upper, upper echelons of the international property market, and his new winter retreat in Klosters sets out his typically low-key, high-end approach. Chalet MM was designed in collaboration with Spink’s in-house architect Franz Borho, formerly of David Chipperfield Architects. Chipperfield’s practice designed an impressive Kensington townhouse for Spink some years back, as well as Fayland, the Spinks’ spectacular country house in the Chiltern Hills, north west of London. Both properties demonstrate an extraordinary attention to detail, their grandiose scale spliced with a minimal approach to materials and the soft scattering of natural light.

Chalet MM takes things a step further. Spink and his partner Maria have been coming to Klosters for more than two decades, and he talks animatedly about the subtle domestic design variations found across the local valleys. Klosters was originally a poor farming village and housing design was primarily about necessity, expediency and function. Houses typically had thick walls, small windows, rubble foundations and clay roof tiles. Additional status could be afforded by painted decorations, mimicking the stone carving found in more prosperous neighbourhoods. One particular local property, a historic house in the nearby village of Luzein (owned and restored by an uncle of one of Spink’s ski guides), was especially influential in the design of Chalet MM. A grand dwelling dating back to the 1600s, it had been lovingly refurbished to its original status, right down to the straw-filled mattresses and absence of central heating.

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