Mar 26 2015
Morphosis Architects and 7132 Ltd are proud to announce their collaboration for a new luxury hotel in Vals, Switzerland. The design for the hotel is driven by the desire to create an unprecedented experience of the alpine landscape, and was unveiled at a celebration in New York on March 23rd.
The unveiling of the design follows an international competition launched by 7132 Ltd last June, in which eight of the world's leading architectural practices contended for the opportunity to design the hotel. Morphosis was selected by the client for the strength of their proposal, which uses a minimalist approach to help the hotel blend with the mountain landscape at the existing resort campus. The new hotel and arrival is defined by three forms: a podium linking the building with neighboring structures; a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa, and bar – public amenities shared with the town; and a tower holding a sky bar, restaurant, and 107 guest rooms with panoramic views.
With the completion of the hotel, the 7132 resort will feature buildings by three Pritzker Prize winning architects, including the internationally renowned Therme Vals spa designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and the Valser Path by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, which is slated for completion in 2017.
"The transparent and slim '7132 Tower' designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis will create a completely new world of hospitality in Vals," Ando says. "I believe it will harmonize in the beautiful landscape and will attract and impress various guests and visitors from all over the world. I would like to respect 'Vals Therme' by Peter Zumthor and look forward seeing the harmony with '7132 Tower' by Thom Mayne and 'Valser Path' by myself in the village of Vals."
The resort's ongoing development is born out of the collaboration between the complex's long-time Executive Director Pius Truffer and 7132 Ltd founder Remo Stoffel, both local residents who were born and raised in Vals. The group has owned and operated the Therme Vals since 2012, when 7132 Ltd purchased the resort from the municipality. As a local company, 7132 Ltd is committed to supporting a thriving, carefully guided model for tourism in the valley, especially with consideration for a growing world-wide interest in alpine tourism.
The new hotel and arrival represents the first project in Switzerland for Morphosis Architects. The architectural firm, which was founded in 1972 by Design Director Thom Mayne and today is based out of Los Angeles and New York, is renowned for their design of buildings and masterplans that prioritize social interaction and sustainability. Representing a wide range of building and client types, the firm's work often appears in urban settings that demand careful attention to context.
Commenting on the opportunity, Mayne says "Specificity is really the central driver in our practice. Each design starts from unique conditions in site, program, performance... The architectural solution generated is correspondingly unique to each project. For the 7132 hotel and arrival, the incredible setting demands reducing materiality and presence in the design so that, as in all our work, the connection to site becomes paramount. As much as possible, the hotel is a minimalist act that re-iterates the site and offers to the viewer a mirrored, refracted perspective of the landscape."
Morphosis is a collaborative architectural practice negotiating the technological, political, and cultural intersections of architecture, urbanism, and design. With projects built internationally, our work traverses a broad range of typologies, scales and contexts across the public and private sector. Drawing from iterative, integrative methodologies and driven by research, we endeavor towards innovative solutions that are responsive to and generate from the specificity of each project. We challenge advanced technologies to reconfigure the intersection of form and performance, yielding buildings and urban environments that are iconic and sustainable. Since its founding in 1972 by Design Director Thom Mayne, Morphosis has received 25 Progressive Architecture awards, over 100 American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, and numerous other honors. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively; the firm has been the subject of 25 monographs and numerous exhibitions. We maintain offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Shanghai. Further information for Morphosis may be found through the firm's website: http://morphosis.com/
About 7132 Ltd
When the people of Vals decided at the ballot box to sell their thermal baths and Hotel – until then public property – to entrepreneur Remo Stoffel, they not only handed him the town's architectural jewel, but also a high level of trust.
The construction of Peter Zumthor's Therme with its distinct Valser Stone facades initiated Vals' reputation as an architecture Mecca. Mr. Stoffel, himself a native of Vals, is dedicated to maintaining and cultivating this identity with regard to further developments.
After the purchase, he renamed the enterprise 7132, after the town's post code. What an unusual name for a hotel! 7132 is in private hands, but the area of communal responsibility extends beyond the Therme gates. 7132 is more than a branding stunt. It is a bold vision for Vals, proposing a new tourism model for the Swiss Alps, away from mass tourism. We are aiming at offering a subtler and more exclusive hotel experience. For this purpose, 7132 sought the partnership of world-renowned architects who will help create a truly unique tourism product. The commissioning of Morphosis, Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma demonstrates that Vals will continue to appeal to those with an affinity for extraordinary architecture and design.
Mr. Stoffel has teamed up with Pius Truffer, who has played a crucial role in putting Vals on the map of modern architecture. Together they make up the management board of 7132. Mrs. Sonja Dietrich acts as managing director of the hotel, a position she already held previously. Furthermore, the company employs 150 people at its current size. It is one of the largest hotels in Switzerland.