This will be a tourism attraction all on its own for those visiting Switzerland. Not Dubai, not Hong Kong, not New York, but a small village in the Swiss Alps will be the home of the tallest hotel structure on the globe.
Swiss entrepreneur chooses US architect’s minimalist design for 381 metre structure in Swiss Alps – 107 room luxury hotel to open in 2019.
Swiss entrepreneur Remo Stoffel along with US-based architect Morphosis, has unveiled the design for what will become the world’s tallest hotel. The structure which is to be situated in Vals, in the Swiss Alps, is designed to reach a height of 381 metres, which once completed in 2019, will eclipse the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai which currently holds the record at 355 metres tall.
According to Stoffel, who is Chairman of Dubai-based Farnek, one of the leading facilities management companies in the Middle East, the inspiration for the hotel came from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“Due to my involvement with Farnek, I travel to Dubai on a regular basis and I am always amazed at how quickly the city grows and what it has achieved. It is now home to the busiest airport in the world, tallest tower, tallest hotel, the largest shopping mall, largest man-made island, the list goes on.
“During its early development, many local, regional and international observers, some more vocal than others, were unsure that Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for Dubai would ever be realised. Even if the infrastructure was put in place, how would Dubai attract enough visitors to fill the thousands of new hotel rooms being built? Undeterred, Dubai stuck steadfastly to its strategy and last year it welcomed around 12 million overnight visitors and is now planning to accommodate 20 million visitors by 2020.
“That inspired me to realise my own vision, by forming 7132 Ltd, commissioning this stunning design, which will be built in my home town of Vals within four years,” said Stoffel.
The unveiling of the design followed an international competition launched by 7132 Ltd (derived from the town’s Swiss postal code) last June, in which eight of the world’s leading architectural practices contended for the opportunity to design the hotel.
The design created by Morphosis was selected for its 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 2019.
“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 with the beautiful landscape.”
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.
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.