US architects have released draught plans for a tower in Switzerland that could become the planet’s loftiest hotel if the project comes to fruition. The drawings depict a glass-mirrored structure which soars 381-metres above the ski resort area of Vals in the country’s Valser Valley.
The draughts by award-winning architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis are only provisional. Before any construction work can start, the Alpine skyscraper needs planning permission. In Switzerland, the go ahead for building projects is in the hands of residents living in the locality of any proposed new structure.
If planning permission is forthcoming, the construction schedule will see the hotel completed in 2019. The blueprints show it will contain 107 guestrooms, a swimming pool, a collection of dining outlets, an in-house spa and therapy centre, and a spacious function room.
Thom Mayne says the narrow structure and its mirrored sides will blend in fairly well with the pastoral valley and the surrounding Alps. The architect explained that the tower would only have one accommodation unit per floor and the benefits of this are twofold. The first one contributes to its minimalist appearance and the second will provide residents with commanding views of the region.
Even by the standards of Vals, projected nightly occupation rates are steep. The schedule estimates the equivalent of between £700 and £16,000 per night. Swiss tycoon Remo Stoffel is the driving force behind the tower and he says his sojourns in Dubai have inspired his vision of the Vals hotel’s design.
Not everybody is in favour of a skyscraper overshadowing the Alps. Zurich architectural professor Vittorio Lampugnani has labelled the idea as ridiculous and says it is not necessary to stack people up in a sparsely populated location.