HARMONIZING NATURE AND CULTURE IN AN SMALL SQUARE IN SWITZERLAND, BY FERNANDO MENIS.
Bürchen Mystik project, by Fernando Menis, aims to harmonize the bipolarity between two forces, the social and the economic. While the locals wish to develop the town and keep their youth from leaving for cities, the visitors want to experience the untouched landscape of the Swiss countryside. How do we use the opportunity of a hotel to merge these two opposing desires?
Our response is to rethink tourism through bipolarity between the residents of Bürchen and its visitors, creating benefits for both the public and private sector. With a new architectural approach for sustainable tourism, the aim is to reactivate the identity of the place. It is a new architecture about the quality of life and the landscape.
Now, on october 11th we begin with an small urban, invisible and atemporal intervention. We tray to create a reinterpretation of use of wood in the local environment, only some benches and nature and water which make possible the divers uses during the year.
The architecture is veiled by the hills (60% of the total integrated into the landscape), to satisfy the visitors’ need for a pure countryside. The plaza becomes the heart of the town; it is the public space where cultural activities take place. This large multifunctional space works as a gateway to the hotel as well as public space for the inhabitants, enabling interaction between locals and visitors.
The architectural design originates from the spirit of its place. It is the landscape itself and the vernacular architecture that guides us on our intervention. By respecting the landscape and avoiding a ´building´, the project is introduced into the landscape in such a natural way as if it were always there.
The hotel becomes an economic engine not only benefiting its private investors, but also moving the economy of the town through tourism and development. The hotel thereby offers a new way to appreciate the city’s identity and its context, away from its role as a historical place and a tourist destination. This is the next step, an exciting challenge.