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30/03/2021 Comments (0) Views: 58 Culture, Environment, Other, Real Estate, Technology

Switzerland: bringing social ties back to where they no longer existed

Here is a great idea that brings human activity back into the centre of a city, in a region whose population decreases year after year. 

The InnHub La Punt project is an innovation centre in the heart of the Engadine Valley, in the Swiss Alps. Designed by Foster + Partners, the 6,000m2 building includes office and seminar spaces, sports facilities, retail stores and a restaurant. 

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2022, was born out of the idea of recreating human activity in the small town of La Punt, which currently suffers from a decrease in its population year after year. A functional and social mix (homes, offices, shops, leisure) is often essential for a district to continue to prosper. Located at the entrance to the city, InnHub La Punt is aimed at both locals and tourists, tech companies, start-ups and universities. Its design is inspired by the concept of “third places”, social environments that come after home and work.  

© Foster + Partners

© Foster + Partners

Social, ecological and economic sustainability

The goals of the operation are multiple and high-minded: to increase prosperity, create new jobs, revitalise crafts and local products, attract new workers and innovative ideas to the valley.

The building is a textbook case of all that architecture and construction can offer that is sustainable. We will mention in particular: 

  • a roof combining renewable energy production systems and photovoltaic panels on inclined surfaces to prevent snow accumulation and generating up to a third of the building’s total energy demand; 
  • a geothermal heat pump to provide heat during cold periods; 
  • reduced water consumption, with reuse of water from melted snow and gray water; 
  • materials of local origin with a low incorporated carbon content, in particular the wood which will be used for the structure, windows, roof, furniture, etc. 

InnHub La Punt comes at the right time to revitalise a region by bringing back human interaction and creativity. 

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