Winter and summer tourism have considerably transformed the alpine region in recent years and decades. Complex infrastructures characterise the landscapes and settlements. Instead of chamois, mountain goats and marmots, more and more people are clambering around through the formerly lonely and remote places. Accordingly, the forms of appropriation of the landscape for commercial use have changed. Likewise, the appearance of the villages has been transformed.
One could also say: where cows once grazed on the mountain pastures and found refuge in their cowsheds, this is just what the tourists are doing today. Our architecture is not trying to deny the course of history or turn back the wheel of time. The old, original centre around St Nikolaus is to become part of the community again. Just as the rows of imposing hotels between the River Lech and Lechtalstrasse. Architecture for the residents of Lech. Architecture that mediates between the traditional and the modern, giving Lech a new centre.
The new buildings are arranged like boulders in this scene. The town hall towering above the hotel roofs and visible in a dialogue with St. Nikolaus. The hall and the conference centre take up the lines and the dynamics of the bend in the Lech. Around these new boulders, space has been created for the village – public places along the road and river, as the end point of the new Lech Promenade. And in between –views and accesses for appropriating the new formation.
Generous glazing catches the eye, gives nature a central role in the open spaces. The buildings themselves are massive and original, formed from the materials of the town – dolomite and larch – characterised by the weights of the sloping roofs and the support of the reinforced concrete. And the open spaces themselves carry the stone material brought by the Lech from the mountains. Shaped and structured slabs characterise the right bank. The foothills of the Mohnenfluh opposite loom in their rawness and natural purity.