• Switzerland's news in English
Europe's tallest hotel pitched for Swiss village
Rendering of unsuccessful proposal for Vals hotel tower submitted by Norwegian architectural firm Jensen & Skodvin. Photo: MIR

Europe's tallest hotel pitched for Swiss village

Malcolm Curtis · 16 Mar 2015, 20:08

Published: 16 Mar 2015 20:08 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Remo Stoffel wants to build a 380-metre high tower, with 100 suites, designed by star American architect Thom Mayne, the Pritzker Prize winner and founder of the Morphosis firm, the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Mayne has acknowledged on his Facebook page that his Los Angeles-based firm’s design has been selected, following a competition involving eight short-listed firms.

However, the project will not be officially presented until March 25th in Zurich.

But already doubts have sprung up about the feasibility of the project and whether it will get the necessary approvals.

According to Schweiz am Sonntag, the hotel would be just 16 metres wide and 30 metres long, and would be located not far from the Therme Vals spa, itself designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, another Pritzker Prize winner.

The spa, featuring slabs of local granite and a grass roof, was built in 1996 over the only thermal springs in the canton of Graubünden, in the eastern part of Switzerland.

The critics have already lined up against the project to build a tower that would dwarf the current tallest building in Switzerland, Zurich’s Prime Tower (126 metres) and the Roche Tower under construction in Basel that will top out at 178 metres.

In general, “skyscrapers built in the Alps are an absurdity,” Vittorio Lampugnani, architecture professor at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich is quoted as saying by 20 Minuten newspaper.

In the Alpine landscape there is no need to accommodate so many people in such a confined space, Lampugnani, an Italin architect, said.

The project is earmarked for a rural village with a population of around 1,000, which in the early 1970s was one of the last municipalities in the country to be connected to the electrical grid, according to the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.

But Stoffel and Vals quarry entrepreneur Pius Truffer reportedly have plans to make Vals an architectural mecca.

Story continues below…

“I know we are reaching for the stars,” Truffer is quoted as saying by 20 Minuten.

“We want to build one of the five best hotels in the world.”

The hotel would target wealthy businessmen from Asia and the Middle East, prepared to pay anywhere from 1,000 francs to 25,000 francs a night.

The project will be subject to a vote of citizens in the village in the fall. 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP file picture

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf, marking one of the first such rulings in Switzerland, media reported Sunday.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available