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therme vals
place:vals, schweiz
project:peter zumthor
lighting project:UpO Viabizzuno
it is not easy to write about vals spa when for years all the famous names in journalism have been recounting its history and design significance, but I nonetheless felt I should express my own opinion, honoured as I am to have a part in it. vals, a small village standing at an altitude of 1250 m. in canton graubünden, with a population of 1012. in 1983 the community of vals purchased the spa complex with the hotel: since then the community has remained the owner. in 1986 the architect peter zumthor was commissioned to design a new spa complex. From then onwards, photographs of vals and of the new spa building have been seen around the world, proof that an architect's design is able to interest and fascinate a vast public, bringing unprecedented huge numbers of vistors. I would like our politicians to realise that tourism does not revolve exclusively around the colosseum, and that contempoary architecture too can be a significant factor in the economy. the earliest comments on the design called it ‘a lesson in courage and aesthetics', ‘a spa complex never before seen in the world'.



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