13 May 2007

The Guardian, Travel Section – The View House

The View House
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is the classic mountain village – pictures of its huddled wooden chalets with the Matterhorn looming above have adorned countless million chocolate boxes. But it’s also home to avant-garde artist and architect Heinz Julen, who is single-handedly turning it into the site of some incredible modern design. His first hit was the Vernissage, in the village centre, a cinema/gallery/nightclub with the boho-chic feel of a New York loft. Two years later came the View House, a unique building housing four apartments, all of which you can rent. It looks like a traditional chalet crossed with an industrial greenhouse – lots of timber and vast windows with panoramic views. The price is surprisingly reasonable: each sleeps four and costs from £165 a night.

Julen’s Zermatt design revolution shows no sign of slowing. His hotel, the Omnia, opened late last year on a hill above town, accessed by an lift through the rock face. But his most ambitious project to date is about to take shape – a 117m pyramid of glass and steel, housing restaurant and rooms, on top of the 3,883m Klein Matterhorn.

www.viewhouse.ch; www.heinzjulen.com

Read the whole article