The new panoramic gallery of the mountain station Kulm connects the two existing hotels on the mountain. The building’s façade fashions a bridge between architecture and the surrounding nature.
At 2,000-meters altitude, the panoramic gallery of the Pilatus mountain station nestles against the mountain. Visitors use the connecting building to commute between the hotels and the mountain station which is home to the world’s steepest rack railway.
The single-floor building, designed by Graber Steiger architects, features an accessible flat roof and connects to the already existing buildings in one flow.
In the interior, the visitors meet in a single room, 20 meters wide and 60 meters long. A continuous, yet irregular line of windows with green-blue gleaming glass allows the visitors to exhaustively study the surrounding world of mountains.
The architects sought inspiration from the circumjacent nature for the design of the façade. Viewed from the outside, the green-blue line of windows reminds you of a rock-line in the mountain. They are framed by a façade with an irregular rock pattern. It is one of 200 standard formliners from the RECKLI catalog which are inspired by nature. By using elastic formliners, the pattern was impregnated into the concrete in a precast plant.
107 exposed concrete, precast parts were flown on to the Pilatus with a helicopter and installed while attached to a rope. The remaining construction parts had been taken up the mountain with a cable car, where the concrete was applied over the course of 6 months and in battling the elements and the seasons.
The completed gallery is more than just a connecting element; it adds value to the existing architecture and embeds it into the mountain.