A tower in the Alps



Design team_Lara Monacelli Bani
Photos_Lara Monacelli Bani
Location_Surlej, Switzerland


How would it be to live inside a big infrastructure in the Alps, without destroying the landscape, keeping the cultural, historical and formal heritage? Surlej is a small village in the upper Engadin. Out of scale parking areas and second houses grow along the unique street directed to the cable car station, avoiding the village to develop public spaces and pushing the limit of the wood higher and higher. The tower, built as a truss structure gathers more functions in one volume: an underground parking, a cable car station over the tree foliage, an hotel, a restaurant and a public concert hall. The exterior structure made in welded steel elements, independent and selfstanding, holds together with the central concrete core and defines the geometry of the windows. The squared and concave profils produce light shadows effects over the structural elements and transform the tower into a light sculpture emerging from the woods.