Centre for Tourism and Culture
Ascona, Switzerland 2004
Client: Council of Ascona Competition, first prize
Caruso St John Architects won an international competition for the design of a new Cultural and Tourist Centre in the Swiss town of Ascona, known for its lake-edge promenade on Lake Maggiore. The new building would have provided a 1,200-seat concert hall and was intended as a permanent venue for the town's annual music festival, as a conference venue, and as a gallery for the collections of the town's existing art museum.
The design proposed a building of unusual simplicity, working like a palazzo on three big floors. Reception facilities were located on the ground floor, the museum was placed on the first floor, and the concert hall was on the top floor, with its foyers around the external perimeter of the hall. The hall volume allowed the centre to have an outward aspect over the town and to be seen from the surrounding district and lake edge. The centre was designed to appear as a city crown, reminiscent of the baroque churches and medieval castles that punctuate towns in the Ticino. The building was cast in white concrete, with marble aggregate exposed by a fine vertical tooling of the surface. From a distance the centre would have radiated a brilliant white, at closer range sparkling in the clear alpine light.
Council of Ascona
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Lorenzo De Chiffre, Christiane Felber, Adam Khan, Ah-Ra Kim, David Kohn, Aureliusz Kowalczyk, James Payne, Sabine Rosenkranz, Bernd Schmutz, Michael Schneider, Kerstin Treiber, Stephanie Webs, Frank Wössner
Structural and Services engineers
Büro für Bauökonomire