best architects 18
Obbürgen / Switzerland
Built in 1905 by the Central Swiss hotelier and railway pioneer Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer, the Hammetschwand Lift is a unique facility in the history of tourism. At a height of 152.8 metres, Europe’s highest open-air lift has undergone various transformations during its history. In the course of time, the rock cavern was lined and a roof was built over the entrance. More recently, the cliff face had to be secured to ensure the safety of people using the lift. The building owner took this opportunity to also remodel the entrance hall. Dolmus Architekten restored the original natural state of the cavern interior, removing the inner wall and ceiling panelling except in those areas where building facilities had to be concealed. This allowed the rock face to be staged dramatically on the interior. The historic lift system is now protected by a freestanding glass installation, where it remains visible to visitors. Repairs were made to the raw concrete floor and the cavern was secured where necessary with spray concrete. The entrance area and its projecting roof are lined with uniform and restrained galvanised grating. Functional lighting like that used in tunnel construction illuminates the cavern.