The design of the 7132 Resort Tower by Morphosis, in the Alps in Switzerland, is a defiant statement of the everlasting links between Philosophy and Architecture. Every detail of the design is put there for a reason, conceptual or philosophical, making it logical almost to the point of perfection.
The overall resort is formed of three main elements: the podium that connects the building with the surrounding structures, the cantilever containing the functions shared with the town (such as the restaurant, bar..etc), and the 381 meter-tall tower set to accommodate the 107 hotel rooms, the sky-bar, and a restaurant. The project is to be one of the most important landmarks of the town, and hopefully of the area.
While the resort includes the works of two Pritzker award winners; Peter Zumthor designing the Herme Vals spa, and Tadao Ando designing The Valser Path, the jewel of the project remains the minimal tower by Thom Mayne of Morphosis. The main inspiration behind the tower is the “Femme de Venise”, a sculpture by Giacometti. In Giacometti’s Femme de Venise, an elongated figure lifts from its heavy base, a contrast which elevates the object into a masterpiece of drama and form. Our proposal for the new hotel and arrival uses these same sculptural qualities to create a powerful aesthetic experience for visitors, as the designer explains.
As well as being inspired by the Femme De Venice, the tower also introduces a slim, reflective facade that seamlessly integrates with the site. The design strategy is used to cancel every sense of intrusion, as well as to provide stunning panoramic views to the users of the tower.
The design of the tower has impressed architects and locales all alike. Tadao Ando said: “ The transparent and slim ‘7132 tower’ designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis will create a completely new world of hospitality in Vals … I believe it will harmonize in the beautiful landscape and will attract and impress various guests and visitors from all over the world.“
Morphosis is known for its works in urban development and architecture with great honors recorded in its long 40-years practice, including over 100 AIA awards, and 25 Progressive Architecture award. The competition to develop this resort had 8 of the most important firms in the world. Selecting Morphosis came as a result of the strength of the proposal that blends the resort with the surrounding nature with respect and harmony.
By: Hazem Raad