The proposed 1,250-feet high building in Vals would tower over London’s Shard Photo: Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy
If you’ve ever seen the swiss alps up close and personal – its breathtaking. The views even from afar – are glorious. So imagine a luxury hotel built there standing over 1,250 feet high? Thats the story around this new luxury hotel project from New York City architecture firm Morphosis, led by architect Thom Mayne. The plan is for a sleek new hotel that will dominate Vals’ nonexistent skyline. The skyscraper would stand 1,250 feet tall, the same height as the Empire State Building (without the pinnacle.)
Developers want to build the hotel on the outskirts of Vals, a tiny spa town of just 1,000 people, nestled 4,000 feet up in the Swiss Alps. It is not the headquarters of some particularly secretive Swiss bank. It is a proposed luxury hotel, aimed at guests from the Middle East and Asia.
According to the Telegraph, the proposed tower will reportedly contain around 100 suites, with the cheapest priced at around 1,000 Swiss francs (£675) a night, and the most expensive at an eye-watering 25,000 Swiss francs (£16,000). Each room would have its own floor, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Although the architecture firm said it expects the building to be completed in 2019, construction will not begin until (and unless) it wins over the hearts of local voters.
The project, which will reportedly cost around 200m Swiss francs (£135m) is to be officially unveiled next week in Zurich.
According to a report in Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper, the developers have chosen a plan by the prize-winning American architect, Thom Mayne.
The tower will rise from an extremely small base, measuring just 100 feet by 50 feet, and will have to anchored in the ground by unusually deep foundations.
The project is the brainchild of Remo Stoffel, the owner of the Vals spa, and Pius Truffer, a local quarry entrepreneur. “I know we’re reaching for the stars. We want to build one of the five best hotels in the world,” Mr Truffer told 20 Minuten newspaper.
According to the Telegraph, the proposed skyscraper has already come in for heavy criticism in Switzerland.
“Skyscrapers in the Alps are an absurdity,” said Vittorio Lampugnani, Professor of Architecture at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. There is no need to accommodate people in such a small space in the mountains, he said. “It’s marketing,” Benedict Loderer, an architecture critic, told Basler Zeitung newspaper, adding that he did not believe the project would come to fruition.
“It’s a question of the skyscraper’s position. If you put it in a valley, that’s relatively meaningless,” he said.
The project still has to get planning permission before it can go ahead.
Under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, it will be put to a vote of local citizens in the autumn.
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