Corgnolaz’s Mill


The restoration and recovery project of the Mill of Corgnolaz is part of a urban redevelopment framework that the Municipality of Chamois is promoting in its territory through a series of projects intended to enhance the “revitalization” of the villages and encourage the renovation of the existing building heritage. Specifically, with this project, the idea is to recover an important building of the hamlet of Corgnolaz, particularly significant on the cultural, historical and functional point of view. The mill has not been used since the 1960s but until then the inhabitants of the municipality milled the crops of rye, barley and oats.

Originally the mill was fed by a canal which derived its waters from the stream flowing about ten meters upstream of the building. Before 1991, the situation in the area surrounding the mill itself changed radically. First of all, the Chamois torrent was embanked and then, immediately upstream of the mill, a sand trap was built to serve the irrigation canal which benefits the Suisse hamlet of the municipality of Chamois and a part of the Municipality of La Magdeleine.

The state of neglect has led to a severe deterioration of the structure (the roof has collapsed) without having completely cancelled its typical connotations and its valuable architectural features. The plan was therefore intended for a complete restoration of the building and the recovery of the functionality of its two millstones. The project, presented by the architect Pier Andrea Donazzan of Chatillon in 1991 and showing the relief of the building before the roof collapsed is particularly interesting. In this way it has been possible to understand the exact configuration of the building and the hydraulic system that powered the two millstones.


On the basis of documentary investigations and in situ surveys, a careful analysis of the deterioration of the building was carried out and it has been possible to indicate the different intervention methods as follows:

  • selective demolition of the parts no longer recoverable and restoration and consolidation of the load-bearing walls;
  • reconstruction of the collapsed walls and of those that are no longer recoverable and renewal of the roof with replacement of the roofing stones;
  • seismic verification of the entire building with improvement of its static system;
  • restoration of the mechanical parts of the mill (grinders, transmission mechanism of the hydraulic paddles, etc.);
  • rebuilding of the internal flooring;
  • restoration of the mill adduction channel and arrangement of the external area;
  • preparation for the future realisation of an electrical system, essentially aimed at using the mill for educational purposes.

The works have been carried out by the contractor firm DE LA VILLE SOCIETA COOPERATIVA of Quart and from the subcontractor VIOT VALTER of Saint-Vincent.


Corgnolaz’s Mill