Tallest building in Europe planned for ... a small Alpine village?View gallery - 10 images
Californian firm Morphosis (headed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Thom Mayne) has revealed plans for a slim mirrored skyscraper that – if it goes ahead – will be the tallest building in Europe. The part where things get weird is that it's due to be located in Vals: a small Swiss village with a population in the region of just 1,000.
Vals is an odd choice of location for the type of building that's best suited to a dense urban area without room for horizontal construction, but it must make monetary sense to the developers fronting up the cash to build it. That's beacause Vals isn't just a sleepy village but also the site of luxury resort 7132 (named after the postcode) that boasts a high-end hotel and spa complex built by fellow Pritzker winner Peter Zumthor.
The proposed skyscraper is part of an ongoing development of the area that also involves yet another Pritzker winner, Japanese architect Tadao Ando and his Valser Path project, a park due for completion in 2017.
The 7132 Tower will rise to a height of 381 m (1,250 ft), making it the tallest building in Europe – The Shard in London is currently tallest at 306 m (1,004 ft) – and the same height as the Empire State Building. This should offer guests the sort of amazing views that usually require one to climb a Swiss mountain.
The body of the skyscraper is slim and contains just one room per floor, with a mirrored facade that makes us worry for the local bird population. A total floorspace of 49,998 sq m (538,196 sq ft) is split between the 107 guest rooms and suites, in addition to some suitably plush amenities like a ballroom, pool, fitness suite, and multiple spas. Near ground level is a cantilevered section that shelters arriving guests from rain, and this includes a restaurant and bar, a gallery, and a library.
We've reached out to Morphosis for definite confirmation that the project is a done deal. It's slated for completion in 2019.