Restoration of the Cercle de L’Ermitage in Epesses, Switzerland


  • Jean-Christophe Dunant




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


In 1935, Alberto Sartoris transformed an old mill into a private club for artists: le Cercle de l’Ermitage. The young architect conceptualized the space as a manifesto of rationalistic architecture. The resolutely modernist choice of the intervention contrasted with the rural and bucolic existing building. In 1971, the work disappeared under fake rustic decoration and everybody considered it lost, only remaining one of the most famous axonometries of the Italian master. Forty-five years later, the work reappears miraculously while the space is under transformation into a private residence. The demolition work has revealed an unexpected amount of original elements, which will allow a faithful and rigorous restoration of the Cercle de l’Ermitage.

How to Cite

Dunant, J.-C. (2016). Restoration of the Cercle de L’Ermitage in Epesses, Switzerland. Docomomo Journal, (54), 78–81.





Documentation Issues


Author Biography

Jean-Christophe Dunant

(b. 1965, Switzerland). Diplôme d'architecte from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1991. Founded the Dunant & Locher architects office in 2001. Founded J.–C. Dunant architect office in 2009.


Archives de la Construction Moderne — Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Fonds Alberto Sartoris.

COLLET, Cécile, “Le Cercle de l'Ermitage vivra enfin”, 24 heures, 30 march 2013, 25.

COLLET, Cécile, “Un lieu oublié est classé grâce à sa restauration”, 24 heures, 16 october 2015, 21.

STECH, Adam, “Radical rebirth”, Wallpaper No. 189, December 2014, 145

DUNANT Jean-Christophe, “Alberto Sartoris, Cercle de l'Ermitage, Epesses”, Patrimonial No. 1, 2015, 102–107

SHAND Morton, “The Cercle de l'Ermitage at Epesses, Canton de Vaud, Switzerland”, The Architectural Review, No. 14, april 1936, 181–184.

GUBLER, Jaques, Abriani Alberto, Alberto Sartoris. Dall’autobiografia alla critica, Milano, Electa, 1990.

NAVARRO, Maria Isabel, “Alberto Sartoris 1901- 1998. La concepcion poetica de la arquitectura”, cat. expo IVAM, Valencia, 2000.

ARBOIT, Stephanie, “Une vision renaît”, 24 heures, 21 june 2014, 23–27.