THE PEAK OF Chäserrugg in the Swiss Alps lies over 2,000 metres above sea level. The previous mountaintop restaurant was housed in a simple shed that originally accommodated the workers who built the cableway up to the peak. Now the shed has been demolished and replaced with a building by giants of architecture Herzog & de Meuron and the engineering firm Pirmin Jung Ingenieure.
The hope is that the new restaurant will attract more visitors to this spectacular spot, which has previously been largely overlooked. The restaurant is built entirely in Swiss alpine spruce from local forests. The slow-grown timber has been glued into solid glulam beams that were joined together by local craftsmen over the course of a summer. It took 1,200 trips in the cable car to carry all the construction materials to the site. Even the excavated rock from the groundworks was put to good use – as the raw material for the concrete slab. The old station for the cableway was integrated into the restaurant as part of a shared façade.«