Europe's tallest skyscraper to be built in the Swiss Alps
Europe's tallest skyscraper, which will stand more than 70 metres higher than the Shard, is going to be built in a sleepy Swiss village. Plans for the 80-storey luxury hotel tower, designed by Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne, have been unveiled for the tiny hamlet of Vas, in the Swiss Alps.
Standing at 381 metres (1250ft) tall, the slim, glassy skyscraper aims to mirror the surrounding mountainous landscape. The 53,000-square-metre building will include 107 guest rooms and suites, as well as spas, a ballroom and a library, restaurants, a cafe, bar, sky bar and a gallery. It will also feature a swimming pool and fitness centre.
Mayne's architect firm Morphosis won a competition sponsored by a resort in the Swiss town for the hotel which they hope to open in 2019, when it should be the continent's tallest—unless a planned tower in St. Petersburg assumes its full projected height.
An artist's renderings show a plane of glass shimmering high into the alpine sky, where it appears to evaporate into the atmosphere.
The building will be part of the Vals resort, which already includes a hotel as well as a world-famous spa building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Mayne told Dezeen magazine that each floor would have just one room offering exclusive panoramic views of the Alps.
“As much as possible, the hotel is a minimalist act that re-iterates the site and offers to the viewer a mirrored, refracted perspective of the landscape,” said Mayne.
The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa or 'Khalifa Tower' in Dubai which stands at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) high.
In Europe, currently the tallest structure is The Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia which measures at 373.7m (1,227ft) tall.
Construction workers urged to down tools for mental health
The construction industry is being encouraged to stop all work for one hour to focus on the importance of physical and mental health. The plea is part of the ‘Stop. Make a Change.’ (SMAC) campaign which is asking construction organisations across the country t spend an hour thinking about physical health conditions, such as respiratory health, work-related stress, as well as mental health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
This year, the campaign, which takes place from 11 to 22 October, will focus on individual workers, placing particular emphasis on how they have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to encouraging workers to consider their health, safety, and wellbeing, they will also be asked how those areas can be improved
Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “Our industry workforce is crucial to all of our future successes. We recognise the heroic efforts these workers have undertaken during the pandemic, and want to make sure that, as the industry hopefully emerges from COVID-19, we continue to look after everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing.”
Around 200,000 people took part in the campaign in 2019, which has been running since 2017. SMAC’s website also offers conversation starter kits to help encourage people to talk about their emotions and wellbeing, making it as natural as possible.
Suicide rates in the construction industry are increasing
A study by Glasgow Caledonian University found suicide rates among construction workers had risen to 29 per 100,000 in 2019 from 25 in 2015. Suicide rates among labourers increased by more than 50% from 48 per 100,000 in 2015 to 73 per 100,000 in 2019. However, the rate in non-construction-related industries has fallen, with just under five people per 100,000 taking their own lives in 2019 in comparison to 7 people in 2015.
If you work in the construction industry and need help, The Lighthouse charity provides free 24-hour, seven-days-a-week emotional and wellbeing support for those in the industry through its helpline available on 0345 605 1956 in the UK, or 1800 939 122 in the Republic of Ireland.
Lighthouse also has a free app where workers can access information that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.