National Park Centre / Valerio Olgiati

© Javier Miguel Verme

Architect: Valerio Olgiati
Location: Zernez,
Collaborators: Aldo Duelli (project manager office Olgiati), Fabrizio Ballabio, Theo Barmettler, Pascal Flammer, Herwig Lins, Sara Wiedenbeck
Client: Swiss National Parc, Zernez
Construction Supervisor: Rico Stupan, Architectura DC SA, Scuol + Claudio Bulfoni, Castellani & Bulfoni, Scuol
Structural Engineer: Jon Andrea Könz, Ing.-Büro, Zernez + Dr.Schwarz Consulting, Zug
Project Area: 1,780 sqm
Project Year: 2006-2008
Photographs: Javier Miguel Verme

© Javier Miguel Verme

The exhibitions are held in the new visitors centre. The administration is in the old castle building; the hall, foyer and seminar space are in the stables.

ground floor plan
© Javier Miguel Verme

From outside the new building seems extremely regular, it has no emotional expression, so to speak. The inner spatial development is the product of antitheses: of concealing and revealing, heaviness and lightness, regularity and irregularity. The windows are slightly more horizontal in format, producing an “observing” view in all directions from each room. The exhibition spaces can be properly blacked out and all have the multi- functional technical facilities required for contemporary exhibitions.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "National Park Centre / Valerio Olgiati" 16 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • shetu


  • dados

    I used to think this building was scary as hell. Now I like it though.

  • Rui Agnelo

    Is that a staircase, facing the corner on ground floor??


    what wonderful curiosities thanks arch daily i have been to hard on you. please forgive me.

  • Che

    This building is very simple, awesome. The photo of the bifurcating stair looks like an image from a kaleidoscope. Very poetic.

  • rodger

    terrific project, but very heavy handed.
    ie,the ‘handrail’ on the steps says much about the rest of the project and the architect.

  • Jim bob

    This building is an atrocity, concrete is the WORST material for sustainability. In a world where most architects are trying to change the world for the better… this architect decided to make all four sides of the building the same!?!?!?!? People should be punished for work like this.

    • Ricardo Stanzani

      sustainability is the new church, no?

    • João

      People should be punished for state stuff like this.

  • op

    even concrete can be sustainable, massive walls helps in climate where temperature change at night is extreme…

  • Leonid

    This is a brilliant, intelligent project.

    PS Jim Bob, open your eyes! Your comment isn’t very thoughtful.

  • jim bob

    How is this project good? Really do tell…. the building has no program… is overly thermal massive in a building that won’t be used at night so the days heat will be wasted on an empty building… it has no detail… have seen the railing? It is bland heavy handed and so far beyond sustainable it hurts…. it that thoughtfully enough…. how about building with nature and not against it…

  • jim bob

    It pains me that so many people think this is cool as an artistic expression and ignore the reality of its use and environment

  • Juji

    reminds a bit of Claus en Kaan’s office building in Amsterdam, doesn’t it? Just less windows…

  • orenin

    i find it interesting that a project like this one chooses to focus on the subtleties of the hidden and the interior rather than obtaining a momentary “wow” reaction from passerby’s.
    having said that, i think that a simple white would help reduce the austerity of the project.

  • tyra

    I really think olgiati will be in 5 years as famous as SAANA.

  • Pingback: National Park Centre Designed By Valerio Olgiati - Architecture Things

  • matthew

    Does anyone have a copy of the pdf he published on his site a couple of years ago, all line drawings… “25pgs a4 – print fold stapel”?


    • architect

      i am also looking for that same pdf.
      could someone send it to me please?
      thank you so much

      ruiagnelo (at) hotmail (dot) com