From the architect.
Located in Canton Zurich, the Rhine Falls visitor center defines the entry to Laufen castle and the pathway leading to Europe’s largest waterfall. The program required integrating a souvenir shop, bistro, public toilet facilities and a multipurpose hall into an existing staff house.
The difficult task of transforming the nondescript house into a public building was achieved by extending the pitched roof and developing a new skin that wraps the entire structure. The new façade, made of weatherproof steel plates, forms a suit of armor that unifies the building into a primary form.
On the ground level, folded canopies reveal a second layer with entries, vitrines and a ticket counter. The perforated steel elements on the upper level filter sunlight into the multipurpose hall.