Andreas Fuhrimann / Gabrielle Hächler / Carlo Fumarola / Gilbert Isermann
Rotsee Finish Line Tower
best architects 16 in Gold
Lake Rotsee / Switzerland
The Rotsee Lake delta, setting for the Finish Line Tower for regattas taking place on the lake, has a unique topography. The stacking of the various functional units in the tall structure sets a vertical accent on the horizontal lake landscape, forming a striking reference point for the rowers while also creating an identity-fostering landmark. The subtly offset storeys give the building an air of fragility and fineness despite the substantial volume required for the programme. Large sliding and hinged shutters create a surface relief on the façade when closed, giving the tower a sculpturally modulated, house-like appearance. A concrete stairway acts as the building’s backbone on the rear, no less prominent, side, linking with a concrete platform to anchor the tower in place on the shore. This duality of wood and concrete reflects the hybrid nature of the building: a purpose-built structure for intense functional use during rowing regattas, but when not in use during the rest of the year an enigmatic closed object reflected in the surface of the water as a freestanding sculpture. This metamorphosis the building undergoes through the year was the demanding challenge of this design.