When first arriving at the site at 2000m above main sea level we were stunned by the panoramic views over the landscape and to the mountain range in the back.
There was a small, rather temporary building structure with a huge umbrella serving as an après ski bar, placed on a picturesque plateau. After removing that existing building, it felt like nature got its rightful piece of land back. Taking that beautiful landscape into consideration, we decided to create a less interfering design for the new structure. A design which relates to its surroundings and acts as a subtle addition to it. Since the project time frame from December 2019 to December 2020 was extremely tight, it was necessary to build an exact 3D BIM model for the entire structure and all façade elements in order to maintain delivery times without delays. Collaborating with a façade specialist as well as M&E planners, it was a great time saving asset to work on shared BIM model considering the short time frame.
Form finding and façade Approached by the client to create a diamond- or rock- shaped building for a new mountain top restaurant, Viereck Architects decided to shape the building as an abstracted eagle, with its facades deriving from the orientation of the site itself. Meaning, its main elevations - facing North and East – offer the most spectacular views into the landscape, having a clear height of close to 6 Meters and glass panels equally large. The remaining façade is also built entirely in glass, comprising of closed and transparent panels. The lower floor sitting mainly below ground is built in prefabricated concrete elements, although the main floor where the restaurant is located, is entirely built up in timber.
Interior Design and acoustics In a way we decided to serve the stereotype of mountain huts to be built in timber, but interpreted in a modern and contemporary way: Large visible CLT beams define the restaurant space and provide, together with CLT ceiling panels, a warm and cozy atmosphere. The CLT beams are organized in a star- shape to add a dramatic ceiling design, changing constantly as you walk through the building. The triangular areas between the beams are filled with perforated timber acoustic panels which serve as false ceiling where ventilation systems and electric installations are hidden. The whole interior space is filled with, especially for this building designed, bird- like pendant lamps, which are entirely made of compressed felt to create a bird swarm flying through the building, as reference to its contextual wildlife where eagles are very common. The combination of perforated timber ceiling panels together with the bird swarm creating a fantastic acoustic experience throughout the restaurant. Slender CLT columns leaning inwards in two directions and are organized in a grid of 2 meters to define the structural load as well as the façade. The voids between the columns are at the floor level filled with timber cladding which hides a heating system underneath, to heat up the parapet surface made of local stone plates, changing from 30cm up to 140cm in height.
As you walk into the building, the bar area is the first eye catcher to be seen. Large steel frames set within cascading timber panels are defining the bar interior design. A 15m long bar counter with backlit stone plates at the front and oak wood counter plate is completing the bar area.
Those stone plates are also found along the wall of the main guestroom, carved out precisely to reassemble the original mountain range where the building is set within.
The main guestroom seating is derived from the façade columns in a grid of 2 meters with custom-made tables in oak wood and benches covered in black leather. The center of the guestroom area comprises an array of organically shape oak wood tables, which can be assembled in a way to form one large table to serve bigger groups of guests. Since the restaurant is set within a ski, the guests will arrive with wet ski boots which make lots of noise on the floor, therefore it was decided to choose a custom-made carpet as upper flooring layer, which reduces the noise level to a minimum. The ventilation system hidden underneath the false ceiling also serves, together with an electric floor heating system, to heat the building and to reduce the moist built up by wet ski boots and clothing from the skiers.
Outdoor Terrace The main restaurant can seat up to 200 people, another 200 can be seated at a large outdoor terrace. The flooring comprises prefabricated concrete plates set within a mortar bed having heated copper pipes running through as an exterior floor heating system, in order to prevent ice buildup due to harsh weather conditions of up to Minus 25 degrees. The railing structure is made of stainless steel, where the infills are made of almost invisible stainless steel metal netting to preserve panoramic views of the mountain range.
Another highlight of the building is the “Eagle Fly- in” at the lower part of the building, where skiers which do not want to be seated at the restaurant area, can enjoy quick snacks and drinks - even without unstrapping their skis.