Energy efficient innovation center inspired by Alpine landscape

A new mixed-use innovation center by Foster + Partners is designed to keep visitors warm and comfortable in the harshest Alpine weather. Named InnHub La Punt, it will also boast significant sustainability features, including the use of recycled materials, rainwater recycling, and solar power.

InnHub La Punt will be located on a prominent site at the entrance to the La Punt-Chamues-ch village in Switzerland and measure 6,000 sq m (roughly 64,500 sq ft), spread over three main floors and a basement level. The building will include residential space, work space, seminar areas, sports facilities, some retail space, a restaurant, and an underground car park. Its overall design is inspired by the local topography and traditional architecture in that part of the world, with its domed roof helping to reduce snow loads.

“The design is inspired by the landscape and the local architecture with a protective wall that envelopes the site, blocking the cold winds and enabling pockets of shelter and enhanced microclimate,” explains Foster + Partners. “This wall acts as a contemporary interpretation of the thick, insulating walls and deep windows of the Engadin valley where smaller openings are introduced to minimize heat loss. The roof has been carefully designed to combine renewable energy generation systems, arranged on angled surfaces to avoid snow accumulation, while allowing daylight to enter the deepest parts of the building.”

InnHub La Punt's interior will feature skylights to maximize natural light inside
InnHub La Punt’s interior will feature skylights to maximize natural light inside

Foster + Partners

The building’s structure will be made from locally sourced timber, with recycled concrete being used in the basement. Over 30 percent of its required electrical needs will be produced by a roof-based photovoltaic array, while a ground-source heat pump, coupled to an underfloor heating system, will ensure energy efficient heating during colder weather. Insulation will be excellent and there will also be a focus on natural lighting via skylights.

Additionally, grid-based water usage will be minimized with the use of low-flow water fixtures and toilets, recycled greywater, the capture and reuse of rainwater, and also the capture and reuse of melted snow water.

InnHub La Punt is due to begin construction sometime in 2021 and completion is expected in 2022.

Source: Foster + Partners

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