Mountain architecture

On a sky blue winter’s day, I enjoyed the best the Tyrol has to offer – snow covered peaks laid out at my feet in blinding sunshine. No effort required as a smooth, quiet ride in a cable car lifted me quickly to 1860 metres above sea level.

One thing I did not expect at the top of the Spieljoch was the beautiful building that fits snuggly into the mountain landscape.

It uses high quality materials such as traditional wooden weather tiles on the outside, polished concrete, stone, stainless steel, slate tiles and more wood on the inside. Large windows make the most of the spectactular views in all directions. A local architect, Bernhard Stoehr, is responsible for the building, opened in 2017, which took no more than nine months to complete.

The top of Spieljoch is a great place to visit to appreciate the archticture, to have a drink or a meal at reasonable prices in a comfortable environment.

But I felt no desire at all to join the skiers. The pistes remind me of an autobahn in snow, perfectly graded and flattened, giving skiers and snowboarders the chance to go too fast and above their abilities.

The charm of the sport used to lie in being close to nature, in varying enormously with the weather and the location, in the wide range of abilities on the slopes and in old, wooden huts where amateur chefs prepared simple dishes. Now, top class cuisine and professionalism throughout have produced a consistent product while eradicating any charm. For me, certainly.