Foster + Partners renovates Swiss pavilion for Winter Olympics

A historic building in Switzerland, which was a key venue for the Winter Olympics in both 1928 and 1948, but was later left derelict, has been brought back to life by Foster + Partners.

The Kulm Eispavillon in St Moritz is a regeneration project to reinstate Kulm Park as the social focus of the ski resort.

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The new scheme brings the building back to its original state with an ice skating rink at the centre, while also introducing a new club restaurant and sun terrace for both visitors and the local alpine valley community.

To expand its capacity to host events, a new multipurpose pavilion has been incorporated with links to the historic structure.

Located on the northern edge of the Davos Plaun, which forms an ice rink in the winter and a wide lawn in the summer, it is designed to accommodate seasonal sports and festivals.

Lord Norman Foster, founder Foster + Partners, owns an apartment in St Moritz, and takes part in cross-country skiing events in the locality

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He says: “I approached this project not only as an architect, but as a sympathetic resident of St Moritz. To me it was all about bringing the historic structure and the Davos Plaun back to life, to recreate a space for the local community.”

The design features a cantilevering canopy that extends from the street edge to form a partially covered space, sheltered from rain and snow.

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The canopy is made of horizontal wooden slats which allow for views through to street level. The structure extends into a wall that curves around the northern corner of the site, terminating in a smaller sun canopy at the other end. This offers views towards the skating rink and the surrounding mountains from the street, while protecting the site from the cold winds that blow into the valley. There is a new restaurant and exhibition area on the first level, showcasing various memorabilia that evoke the alpine tradition of the valley, so it is also a museum.

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