19.01.2015 Annika Schröck

Pavilion with a view: Mountainside design by :mlzd

Photo: Alexander Jaquemet

A transparent building – the Gurten Pavilion – juts out from Bern's local mountain on a projecting steel platform.  Designed by :mlzd Architects, the structure replaces a party tent operated at the same location by the neighbouring Gurtenkulm restaurant. Glazed on all sides, the pavilion can accommodate 500 guests and offers not only the most spectacular views of the Swiss city but also enough room for functional and festive events. 

Architect: :mlzd, Biel, Switzerland
Location: Gurten, 3084 Wabern, Switzerland
Tapering to a thin strip at its overhanging edge, the roof of the pavilion appears to hover above the building with its glazed facades. To ensure unobstructed views of the valley, the building's load-bearing structure is merely made up of slender stanchions in shiny solid steel. The side of the pavilion facing the valley projects out from the slope, while the other side rests on the stabilised edge of the terraced surroundings. 
The southern, upslope side is where the kitchen and service rooms are located along with the cloakroom, itself divided off from the function hall by a row of stanchions that are reinforced with cruciform steel cable bracings to absorb wind load and ensure safety in the event of an earthquake. On its downslope side, the pavilion can be opened up completely in three sections to enable guests to enjoy an unhampered view of the valley on warm days.    
The black metal framework structure is veiled on all sides by golden sunshade curtains that provide the building a warm look. A monumental brass door and terrazzo flooring with a coating of reddish-yellow gravel add a further festive effect for events.
On the side overlooking the valley, the interior has been provided artistic touches, such as song lyrics let into the terrazzo flooring in the form of silver letters, and a horizon motif on the silvery curtains with which the function hall can be divided.   
Project data

Client: Foundation Gurten - Park in the Green
Team: Roman Lehmann, Stefan Leiseifer, Claude Marbach, Pat Tanner, Daniele Di Giacinto, Julia Wurst, Johannes Weisser, Moritz Werner
Project management: Genossenschaft Migros Aare, Direktion Bau, Schönbühl
Engineering: Tschopp Ingenieure GmbH, Bern
Building physics/Acoustic: Gartenmann Engineering AG, Bern
Landscape architecture: Klötzli Friedli Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Bern
Art on the building: Adrian Scheidegger, Bern
Gross floor area: 700 m² above ground, 60 m² under ground
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