Thursday, 10 July 2014

Redefining the Ski Alpine Empire of Switzerland

Environmental design excerpt. From ELEVEN.
Long Section Detail. From ELEVEN.

What will ski resorts look like in a future where it doesn’t snow? As the climate warms up, the character of snow is being transformed from a natural phenomenon to a manufactured commodity.  The Swiss ski industry has responded to the loss of snowfall by retreating to the upper reaches of the Alps. Whilst guaranteeing long ski seasons, the additional infrastructure required to sustain this remote touristic enterprise creates significant burdens.

The Old Bern Snow Mountain Paradise compounds the urban and alpine landscapes, redefining the ski empire of Switzerland in a warmer world where snow is scarce. Draped over the centre of the city, the Snow Mountain creates a unique skiing experience for both tourists and the inhabitants of Bern. The Mountain is not a solution to the problems facing the entire ski alpine empire, nor is it a replacement for what has been lost. It proposes a new way of building both cities and ski resorts. Through the use of environmental technologies and spatial interventions, the city becomes an ideal place for an artificial snow dependent ski resort to thrive.

Not only can the skiing experience be radically altered by this proposal, the experience of the city is also redefined. The environmental benefits of using snow to provide thermal comfort for inhabitants of the city are vast. The light and spatial qualities within the Snow Mountain are a spectacle that transforms the city over which it is placed and the seasons are accentuated and heightened by the proposal.

The Alpine Urban Compound. Bern Old Town.

Zermatt ski landscape. From thesis.

Vulnerable ski resort locations in Switzerland. From thesis.
Canton of Bern ski resort map. From thesis.
Detail of plan of the Old Bern Snow Mountain paradise. From thesis.
Hydro infrastructure. From thesis.
Ice tower construction strategy. From thesis.
Snow making strategy. From Thesis.
Old Bern Snow Mountain Paradise. Plan Detail.
Old Bern Snow Mountain Paradise. Plan detail.
Old Bern Snow Mountain Paradise. Section Detail.
On the South Face of the Mountain: The Mini-Matterhorn Ski World

Mountain Poster
Old Bern Snow Mountain Paradise. Topographical plan.

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