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.
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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.View gallery - 10 images