04 June 2010

Modern Architecture in the Alps (II)

Every detail in Alpine architecture has a functional or sometimes decorative – like "Lüftlmalerei", the al-fresco painting – background. 

But your notions about this architectural style may have gone through an adjustment already with the first part (click here for part I). 

It seems as if, instead of marrying the shepherd boy and devoting her life to making artisan sheep's cheese and knitting sweaters, Heidi had a change of heart, went to architecture school and then interned with Mies, Meyer and Mollino. To the point, here are some more striking examples of Modernist architecture in the Alps:

Hungerburgbahn; Innsbruck, Austria. Public rail transport from downtown to a ski area, including a bridge and four train stations, completed 2007. Architect: Zaha Hadid, London. Cost: 50.7m Euro.

 Kapelle St. Johannes der Täufer; Mogno, Switzerland. Chapel St. John the Baptist, completed 1996. Architect: Mario Botta, Lugano. Cost: CHF 620,000 (construction only, no architect fees charged).

Aquadome Spa; Längenfeld, Austria. Hot mineral springs spa with indoor- and outdoor pools, sauna etc., completed 2004. Architect: Schnögass + Partner, Vienna.

Top Mountain Star; Obergurgl, Austria. Restaurant (who in the world named that thing?) at 2800 m/9,000 ft. elevation, completed 2007. Architect: Peter Schmuck, Munich.

 Frauenmuseum; Hittisau, Austria. Museum dedicated to everything female, with the village fire station in the basement and a concert hall upstairs, completed 2000. Architect: Cukrowicz Nachbaur, Bregenz.

Chesa Futura Apartments; St. Moritz, Switzerland. Apartment building nicknamed “The Peanut”, completed 2004. Architect: Foster+Partners and Kuchel Architects.

Hauptschule; Kappl-Paznaun, Austria. Elementary school (7,300 sqm, 76,000 sf) for the villages of See, Ischgl, Kappl and Galtür, completed 2004. Architect: Noldin und Noldin, Innsbruck.

Chalet Mollino; Sauze d’Oulx, Italy. Ski lodge/refuge at 2286 m elev. (ca. 6,900 ft), originally with a restaurant and station chairlift, completed 1947 and restored 2001. Architect: Carlo Mollino, Torino.

To my regret, there isn't enough space in a post to mention more than just a small selection of the interesting buildings in the Alps, or to discuss in greater detail what's shown here. But I hope this brief intro to modern Alpine architecture was as fascinating to you as researching it was for me. 

As always, I invite your comments and critique.

Fotos: Spiluttini, Arte di Sauze, Foster+Partners, obergurgl.com, Tourismusverband Vorarlberg, Frauenmuseum Hittisau, Mario Botta, Ötztal Tourismus, Kaiser.

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