best architects 17
St. Moritz / Switzerland
The setting in the Engadin Valley near the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz presented the jumping-off point for the design concept. The landscape here, captured by Giovanni Segantini in his paintings, informs the look of the building. The new structure embeds itself in its location by bringing the outdoors inside and reinterpreting the traditional regional architecture. The tower-like volume is skewed to look toward the mountain landscape, with Lake St. Moritz, the Stazerwald forest, and the Schafberg and Piz Languard peaks. The conical floor plan allows for a broad front onto the panoramic view. An inward-pitched roof puts a new spin on the traditional structure, while wide window openings give the building its architectural expression. Deeply recessed into the façade, they pick up on traditional Engadine windows but on a novel scale. Rather than conveying shelter and the channelling of light they evoke openness, with a strong connection to the landscape. Inside, wide larchwood surrounds frame selected views of the countryside. Windows that wrap around corners render the natural surroundings more tangible, almost as a three-dimensional image. The façade cladding in natural slate once again plays variations on traditional building forms, with the slate envelope here covering both roof and walls. As a modern touch, the outer window soffits are in artificial stone in a contrasting colour. Inside, the exposed concrete of the load-bearing outer shell remains visible, contrasting with interior walls in brushed larchwood with integrated furniture. An anhydrite screed floor completes the triad of interior materials.