Graubünden is the largest and one of the most beautiful cantons in Switzerland. Entirely mountainous, it has many remarkable structures on the most special and not easily accessible places. They used to be fortresses from the 13th and 14th century which were progressively abandoned. Nowadays, these ruins crown somedistintictive topographie location of the Swiss Alps and due to the difficult access, remain forgotten.
Known as a perfect place for winter sports, Switzerland has many special and long hikes to do in summer as well.The design works with these elements, a family of reused fortresses along the trails.
To be able to protect the ancient structures, some monolithic roofs are added to bring a new life to the ruined fortress. Itsexistingstone walls, frame the floor of the new volumes. This edition covers, protect the old ruins and provide new shelters for the hikers. The new landmarks have an important impact that guide the hikers.
With an hugeconcreterounded column in the middle, the new volume doesn’t touch the existing structure and create a gap that brings a unique filtered natural light for the entrance area. This central core has all the vertical and technical connections but can guarantee a transparency in each floor.
The organisation of the building are in three nucleos: public, private and common areas. The first, the fortress that contains the public area, is the entrance floor and it’s composed by a single space of an impressive size resulting of a tension between old and new, existing and adition. It has the Lobby, Gallery, Library And at the basement, the Archive and Toilets which complements this public area. The second nucleo, already in the new volume, has the private areas for the hikers which are inspired by the existing openings of the fortress. In these body are the Cabins with a meeting balcony between them. The third and higher nucleo, has the common areas like the Dining and Living Room, Room of Silence and the Group Rooms in the last floor, illuminated with zenithal light.
Although its massive picture, the building has the flexibility as the main key. With an autonomous entrance for the hikers at the basement, the entrance floor can be part of the refuge or a room to be rented by the neighborhood. The Refuge units for hikers have also a flexible system which allows a single person or family to rent 2 units (bedroom and living area), as well as 4, 6 or 8, the whole floor.
The existing ruin and its extension are merged without changing the footprint and the quality of the existing exterior spaces. The existing quarry stone walls are preserved by the addition of the new monolithic brick building. This material allows a strategical color composition and next to the fortress, the similar color gets brighter and lighter in high, trying to join the building with the sky. Old and new are now together to ensure harmony rather than contrast.
2019 Skyscraper Competition