Stunning landscape, snow-covered peaks and ski slopes that welcome tourists from all across the globe; Toggenburg in Switzerland is a place that is as appealing in winter as it is in warmer spring and summer months. Built in mere three months, the unassuming and elegant Espel Pavilion sits on one of the more famous ski slopes in the region and offers visitors and those enjoying the lovely slopes an efficient ‘refueling stop’ with minimal seating and a restaurant inside. The most impressive feature about this Herzog & de Meuron design is the speed of construction and how it saves resources and reduces construction costs.
The wooden exterior of the cabin-styled restaurant is simple with absolutely no frills or ornate design. Efficiency is the key here with the structure reducing building time and costs even while keeping out the chill in the air that is present all year long. Wooden walls with a dash of Scandinavian minimalism create a much more welcoming and cozy atmosphere inside even as the wooden benches and chairs blend into the backdrop. Space is limited here, but the view outside, an access to the ski slopes and natural light ensure that the little time tourists spend here is pleasant.
Slim pendant lights in black provide the only elements that usher in visual contrast while the deck outside can also be used as additional sitting area on warmer, less windy days. [Photography: Katalin Deér]