Foster + Partners just unveiled the newly-renovated Kulm Eispavillon – and it’s simply spectacular. Located in St Moritz, home to Lord Foster himself, the regeneration project aimed to breathe new life into the derelict Kulm Park by converting it into a community-centered retreat. The renovation process focused on retaining the historic building’s original wooden vernacular, while adding contemporary features that could accommodate future sporting events.
The 1905 pavilion was home to the 1928 and 1947 Winter Olympics, but had since been abandoned, falling into extreme disrepair over the years. The new design aimed to bring the building back to life, but still retaining the site’s original style and historic features. A new public ice skating rink serves as the heart of the center and visitors can also enjoy an onsite restaurant and a “sympathetically-designed Orangerie” with beautiful views of the surrounding valley.
In addition to restoring the existing building, the architects added a multi-purpose pavilion that will host sporting and cultural events year-round, including the medal ceremonies at the Ski World Championships held in February 2017, as well as music festivals and classic car expos.
Lord Foster explained that, more than a design project, the renovation was also a labor of love, “I approached this project not only as an architect, but as a sympathetic resident of St Moritz; to me it was all about bringing the historic structure and the Davos Plaun back to life, to recreate a space for the local community. The restoration of the old eispavillon and the new extension seek to re-establish Kulm Park as the social focus of this part of the town, providing a new destination for visitors and residents of the Engadin valley alike. The new Kulm Eispavillon will be at the heart of the sporting schedule of St Moritz, and will also provide a flexible space for a variety of outdoor events throughout the year, from music concerts to car exhibitions. Using the local tradition of wood, the entire ensemble is designed to be of the place, both in spirit and materials.”
Photographs via Foster + Partners