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Foster + Partners Imagines an Innovation and Community Center in the Swiss Alps

Foster + Partners Imagines an Innovation and Community Center in the Swiss Alps

Foster + Partners has revealed images of InnHub La Punt, a new center for innovation in the heart of the Engadin valley, in the Swiss Alps. The 6,000-square-metre project, set for completion in 2022, is comprised of a 3-story building encompassing work and seminar spaces, sports facilities, retail shops, and a restaurant. Based on the idea of the ‘third place’, the intervention creates a space for collaboration and creativity.

Courtesy of Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Foster + Partners+ 5

A catalyst for transformation, InnHub La Punt seeks to increase prosperity, create new jobs, and revitalize local crafts and produce by bringing innovative people and ideas to the valley. Located at the entrance to the village, the project is dedicated to locals, tourists, technology companies, start-ups, and universities. Away from the workplace and home, the innovation and community center planned by Foster + Partners is inspired by the landscape and the local architecture. In fact, the design reinterprets in a contemporary way the thick, insulating walls and deep windows of the Engadin valley, by proposing “a protective wall that envelopes the site, blocking the cold winds and enabling pockets of shelter and enhanced microclimate”.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

The roof combines renewable energy generation systems and photovoltaic panels, arranged on angled surfaces to avoid snow accumulation. In addition, these systems generate up to a third of the building’s total energy demand. The low-rise ensemble has a contoured roofscape with roof lights that bring natural light into the interior spaces. Shops and public functions are located along the main street, while more private functions face the surrounding landscape. Designed around an amphitheater with a rooftop café and terrace, the social focal point of La Punt, the building is made of local materials with timber, stone, stucco, and brass elements, and covered in larch shingles. 

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Read on to discover energy, mobility, materials, and general facts.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Energy & carbon: Over 30% of Annual demand produced by 816m2 of Photovoltaic panels on the roof. Geothermal energy. Ground-source heat pump to provide heat during cold periods. Highly insulated walls. Reduced exposed surface and optimized glazing ratio to reduce heat losses. Under-floor heating to reduce consumption and increase user comfort. Highly efficient MEP. Systems with heat recovery and draft-free ventilation with air-side economizers. LED lighting with occupancy and dimming controls.

Mobility & Connectivity: The project is located in the village of La Punt, in a quite remote spot which makes this building unique. Low connectivity with other villages and cities, but great connectivity with nature. Public transport access by bus. Reduced car park at the basement, not encouraging the use of the car.

Water: Low water use fixtures and toilet flushing with recycled greywater. Reuse of rainwater. Snow meltwater reuse. Greywater recycling from the residential, gym and cafeteria.

Materials & Waste: Low embodied carbon, locally sourced and low VOC materials. Timber structure. Timber windows and joinery. Timber shingles roof. Stone flooring. Reused arid concrete for the basement. Furniture designed for a minimal carbon footprint. Waste streamlining and recycling.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Land & Ecology: The project was born out of the idea of creating activity for the village of La Punt, currently suffering a reduction in its population year by year. A village within a village, that brings together external users and the locals, creating the social heart of the area. A building designed to participate with the nature around it.

Wellbeing: Natural Light. Natural Ventilation. Health and Sport center. Fully Accessible building for the disabled. Nature connection.

Culture & Heritage: Design inspired by the local architecture of the Engadin valley but also inspired by the landscape.

Prosperity: Local stores and local activity are included in the project along the main street in Via Cumunela.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Innhub La Punt

  • Location: Switzerland
  • Date: 2018 – 2022
  • Client: Caspar Coppeti, Christian Gartmann, Beat Curti, Jon Erni
  • Architect Foster + Partners
  • Collaborating Architect Kuechel Architects
  • Foster + Partners Design Team Norman Foster, Nigel Dancey, Pablo Urango, Taba Rasti, Lucas Mazarrasa, Emilio Ortiz, Alex Duro, Julio Serrano, Piers Heath, Anis Abou Zaki, Liam Alsop, Martha Tsigkari, Sherif Eltarabishy
  • Mechanical Engineers Foster + Partners
  • Cost Consultant Kuechel Architects
  • Site Area: 8800m2
  • Area (Gross): 10320m2
  • Number of buildings: 1
  • Number of Floors: 3 Storeys, 1 Basement
  • Building Dimensions: Height: 18m, Length: 94m, Width: 87m, Wall Height: 6.6m, Single dome height: 10m, Double dome height: 12m, Central dome height: 18m
  • Structure: Timber Structure, Timber Roof, Stucco perimeter wall, high insulated, Concrete basement.
  • Facilities: Auditorium, Café, Congress Centre, Health Centre, Office, Residential, Restaurant, Retail, Sports Centre
  • Parking facilities: 80 cars, 8 disabled, 7 industrial

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About this author
Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Foster + Partners Imagines an Innovation and Community Center in the Swiss Alps" 01 Feb 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/955997/foster-plus-partners-imagines-an-innovation-and-community-center-in-the-swiss-alps> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of Foster + Partners


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