The legendary Kulm Hotel St. Moritz has announced that British architect Lord Norman Foster is to oversee a £5.4 million refurbishment and extension of the Ice Pavillon in the Kulm Park.
The Pavillon stands between the main hotel building and Chesa al Parc (one of the Kulm’s restaurants and the clubhouse for Kulm Golf St. Moritz); in front of it is the hotel’s outdoor ice rink (in winter) and tennis courts (in summer).
The two-storey Pavillon, built in 1905, is a synthesis of Art Nouveau and traditional Swiss style that has been classified as worthy of protection.
Currently standing in disrepair and in danger of collapse, Lord Foster’s new design will breathe new life into this architectural gem, which is also of historic importance having played a key part in the 1928 and 1948 Olympics held in St Moritz.
The Ice Pavillon, along with the Kulm Hotel, is owned by the Niarchos family, but they have promised to open it up to the local Engadine community, making it available for sporting and other events.
For example, the Pavillon’s grandstand will be the venue for the 33 medal ceremonies at the Ski World Championships, which are taking place in St Moritz in February 2017.
Heinz Hunkeler, chief executive, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz and Grand Hotel Kronenhof, said: “This is a very exciting development for the Kulm Hotel, significantly expanding our facilities, while demonstrating the Niarchos family’s ongoing commitment to the Engadine community and its investment in the vitality of the valley.”
Work on the refurbishment will commence in late March 2016, after the conclusion of the current winter season.
Due to the state of the building, some demolition will be necessary, but as much as possible of the existing building, including the historic foundations, will be maintained.
As in the original, wood will play an important part in the reconstruction.
On the ground floor, there will be a shop selling traditional local crafts and a rental centre for ice skating and curling equipment; the basement will house the ice making machine for the ice rink.
On the first floor will be a wood-panelled restaurant, with a large sun terrace overlooking the ice rink/tennis courts.
Adjoining the Ice Pavillon will be the grandstand, with an elegant curved wooden roof, from which spectators will be able to watch events on the ice and, vice versa, will provide the stage for open-air events, such as Festival da Jazz in summer.