Modern mountain tourism: 35 ski lifts, 140 km of slopes, 10 mountain restaurants, hotels, sports equipment stores, about 900 employees – not only does all of it need to be managed but these facilities also need to be made relatable and attractive to the visitors in the valley. It was a programme for the Sivretta - Montafon Holding GmbH company’s new building in Schruns. The new building confidently expands the palette of answers to a complex topic of building in the Alps, and is situated on the edges of Schruns’ historical centre, next to a charming building dating back to the beginnings of tourism 150 years ago, as well as next to a massive and drab hotel built in the style of the superficial Alpine modern of the beginning of this century.
What is tourism today? The reflection on it was quite extensive, ranging from the regions where the mountain promises a direct experience of nature to the personal existential experience – above the upper limit of the forest, where the unbridled elements force the intruder into finding a shelter. These shelters, located in difficult to reach areas, are built from the only material accessible – stone. Carefully assembled, they are raw and unornate. Such buildings were a stimulus to both architects and the investor to thematize tourism in a contemporary manner, which is also the key idea of this project.
And now, here stands this erratic block made of grey stone. With all of its sides perforated, it is in fact a cube with 18 m long sides. But this basic regular form is subtly fragmented – firstly, due to the street direction, and secondly, due to the design of the exterior space. Or perhaps, because of the geometry that is evocative of a mountain crystal? On the ground floor, we will encounter a foyer, exhibition spaces, lecture halls. Above it, there are two office levels, while the uppermost level houses generously scaled spaces for meetings and receptions.