The two halves of Flims, Flims village and the ski resort of Flims-Waldhaus, are separated by the Stenna valley and have until now been connected only by the Stenna bridge. Our brief was to create a new, multi-functional centre for this exposed site, previously limited in terms of usage.
The use of robust, durable and authentic materials lends the Stenna Centre a mature, established feel, creating a bold statement for generations to come.
The Stenna Centre bridges the gap between these two districts, its architecture is characterised on one hand by boldness of its form, on the other by dimensional restraint. The development of the bridge creates a whole new space in Flims, with underground parking and the three new apartment buildings that reshape the site to create a spacious outdoor area – a sort of “arena” that flows seamlessly in and out of the surrounding natural environment.
A place to linger, not just pass through
Traffic flows through the site have been redirected, a new forecourt created and busses now stop in a covered waiting area. The three-storey development houses cafés, a restaurant and a hotel as well as shops and other services. The restaurant floor links directly to Flims’ ski slopes, the “Weiße Arena”.
Rather than taking a leading role centre stage, the building with its abstract form prefers a supporting role, melding into the lay of the surrounding land.
The size of the bridge building flows naturally from the topography of the site in a conscious effort at restraint. Horizontal “plates” bring to mind the tectonics of the surrounding mountains. Rather than creating contradictions, here transparency and bulk, abstraction and practicality complement one another with an unassailable logic. The massive load-bearing structure with its concrete point support grid offers maximum flexibility and a sustainable development capacity that will allow the building to respond quickly and economically to changes in use.
The message is in the materials
More than just a engineering achievement, the Stenna Centre sends out a message, particularly in its use of materials. Surface-treated concrete prevails, married with regional sands and gravels to create a visual effect similar to that of the local rock formations. The crystalline structure of the surrounding area matches the visual and textural quality of the “raw” architecture. The closure beneath the bridge forms a semi-transparent curtain, a metal grille that shrouds the underground parking levels.
The interior of the main building is dominated by its distinct spatial geometry. The public mall is shaped by the texture of its untreated steel, which gives it a unique character.