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Owing to its unspoiled nature and picturesque topography, the historical Swiss region of toggenburg has long been a tourist destination of choice for residents of nearby zurich, st gallen and lake constance. As the easternmost of churfirsten’s ‘seven peaks’, the chäserrugg mountain offers a welcoming plateau at 2,262 meters above sea level, perfect for some astonishing landscape design. Here, acclaimed architectural studio Herzog & De Meuron has completed a summit building, which contains a restaurant serving fresh, authentic cuisine.
Commissioned by toggenburg bergbahnen, an integrated tourism company, the scheme has been designed to reduce the area’s commercial dependance on weather, increase business during summer months, and broaden options for tourists throughout the already profitable winter.
Consequently, a sustainable landscape architecture strategy was employed with the structure’s form absorbing the language of the region’s vernacular wooden architecture, while simultaneously respecting the site’s impressive surroundings.
Set back from the actual summit, the building is accessed via cable-car and, in addition to the restaurant and its adjoining terrace, contains a hall available for concerts and other cultural events. designed to accommodate up to 500 guests, an upper storey offers space for seminars, meetings and private functions. the cable-car was also used extensively during the project’s construction, with 1,200 trips bringing 3,600 tons of material to the mountain’s summit. the building stands as a signal of the region’s intent to develop a clean, natural and culture-based tourism with further projects currently in development.