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Swiss Miss: Skyscraper Causes Stir

Friday, April 3, 2015

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Chances are that when you visit the Swiss Alps, you'd expect to stay in a quaint cottage or bed and breakfast...not a luxury 82-story hotel.

Well, that could soon change. American architect Thom Mayne has generated a stir with his tall, slender luxury hotel design set for a small town in Switzerland.

Morphosis Architecture, of Los Angeles, released Mayne’s renderings of project “7132 Tower” on March 25.

The 1,250-foot-tall structure to be nestled in the Swiss Alps would oust Renzo Piano’s London Shard as the tallest building in the European Union.

Swiss Skyscraper
Photos: Morphosis Architecture

A 1,250-foot-tall hotel planned for Vals, Switzerland, has been described as a "mirror-clad middle finger."

It would be built in Vals, a resort town with a population of 1,000—which reports say is roughly the same number of sheep in the town.

Alpine Views

The 107-room hotel, to be developed by property owner Remo Stoffel, would feature a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa and bar and offer spectacular views of the alpine landscape, according to the architecture firm.

“As much as possible, the hotel is a minimalist act that reiterates the site and offers to the viewer a mirrored, refracted perspective of the landscape,” Mayne said in a statement.

Others tend to disagree.

‘Mirror-clad Middle Finger’

Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian described the design as an “obnoxious gesture to inflict on a sleepy spa town” and a “mirror-clad middle finger.”

Swiss Skyscraper

The design features a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa and bar.

A commenter on Archinect wrote, “The worst piece of architevture [sic] in the history of architecture including all the walmarts and taco bells.”

Moreover, architect critic Benedict Loderer called the project “marketing” in an interview with Basler Zeitung newspaper.

Approval Pending

The project also has yet to receive a blessing from the citizens and planning officials in Vals.

Approval is doubtful, reports say.

“I don’t give this project such big chances,” the Director of Swiss National Planning Association, Lukas Buehlmann, told Bloomberg Business.

“In Switzerland, one is generally very skeptical about skyscrapers—people tend to think small is beautiful.”


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architecture; Color + Design; Commerial/Architectural; Design; Europe; Glass; Hotels; North America

Comment from john lienert, (4/3/2015, 8:15 AM)


Comment from Sarah Geary, (4/6/2015, 8:30 AM)

Please tell me this was an April Fool's joke.

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