Although hardly visible from the town of Davos, the former sanatorium and today’s Hotel Schatzalp has had an impact beyond the borders of Switzerland, and not just since Thomas Mann’s «Zauberberg». With its construction in 1900 according to the «Systeme Hennebique», he Schatzalp became one of the first examples of reinforced concrete structures in Switzerland and in the alpine landscape. But how did this unique building’s fabric evolve during the 120 years in which it was used as a sanatorium and hotel? And what does this mean for the future of the Schatzalp?
The Chair of Construction Heritage and Preservation is investigating Schatzalp within the framework of a number of interdisciplinary research and teaching projects. In research, we look into past attempts at preservation and transformations, as well as their impact on material flows through historical reconstruction. This will contribute to a well-informed assessment of future interventions, with a focus on preservation. This will be followed by investigations for innovative and minimally invasive methods of maintenance and repair of the concrete loadbearing structure with the help of advanced material and fabrication processes.
In teaching, we investigate strategies of repair and replacement of timber façade elements using computational design, digital fabrication and AR/VR technologies as part of the collaboration with Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich and MAS ETH DFAB.