Iseppi-Kurath’swinning competition for a highway service area intends to act as a “window towards the region”. Located next to the exit Thusis-Nord at the highway A13 in Grisons, Switzerland, this service area boasts an expressive roof that “combines the architectural prelude of the building and brings together the entrance and exit of it.”
The building’s layout, almost spiral in plan, allows customers to walk around the edges happening upon shops for produce and products, a restaurant, bar area, take-away, and tourism information, all with direct access from the outside. The plan accommodates quieter areas for conference purposes and a serviced restaurant.
Large window opening toward the vast expanse of canyons (the Viamala and the Muttnerhöhe, Schin canyon) as well as the Domleschg valley. The wooden interior adds to the service area’s “warmth and cozy concealment.”
Structurally, the main load bearing elements are wood, complemented by some stiffening concrete slabs. These elements carry the interior wooden finishing and the exterior façade from metal. The building with its weatherproof and low maintenance façade from metal references through the formal design and choice of materials the surrounding landscape but also automobile technology.
The roof, a one meter thick folded surface, consists of beams from laminated wood and rafters. The insulation is installed through a suspended ceiling. The wall elements of timber frame construction where prefabricated and mounted at the construction.