The landscape around Davos is dotted with original timber houses constructed by the Walser , who moved from Oberwallis to the high valley of Landwasser in the 13th century. The cornerstone of the highest town in the Alps was laid at the end of the 19th century: With the rise to a world-renowned high altitude spa, the then peaceful scattered settlement of Davos experienced a construction boom.
The treatment of tuberculosis patients with sun and fresh air led to a unique new language of architecture. In place of small windows that kept out the cold came light-flooded rooms with wind-protection and balconies that faced the sun. In order to guard against dangerous avalanches in snow-covered Davos, the houses were covered with flat roofs.
The conference centre Davos was created by renowned architects in four construction stages. The outstanding entrance was designed as an emblem of the world-renowned conference resort of Davos. A suspended, structurally spectacular honeycomb ceiling spans the new assembly hall for 1,800 participants.
Starting with local building traditions such as the Davos flat roof and under specific consideration of the climatic and lighting conditions, the architects Gigon & Guyer designed four interlocked cubes for the Kirchner Museum Davos. This museum architecture is considered pioneering because it combines functionality and aesthetics, architectural intrinsic value and service with art in an exceptional way.
The new luxury hotel InterContinental "Stilli-Park" close to Davos lake opened in December 2013. The hotel is encased in a bronze-toned metal shell. A further project: High above Davos, the proprietors of the Schatzalp are planning a 105 metre high tower . The design by the architectural office Herzog & de Meuron is intended to avoid an over-development of the landscape and stand as a symbol of modern architecture in the Alps.
With respect to the Walser a clichéd idea exists, that "Walser - as original Alemanni - only build timber houses, whilst Romans - of Latin origins - build stone houses. Walser as individualists live in scattered settlements, whilst Romans live in enclosed villages."
The Sunniberg bridge is a so-called cable-stayed bridge and consists of four pillars that bow slightly outwards - a global innovation. Usually, the carriageway on a cable bridge is suspended far below the tips of the pylons, on a steep radial cable bearing. Here, it lies sixty metres high, in the upper quarter of the pillars. The unusual combination of the high-lying carriageway and flat guided cables makes the structure graceful and transparent: Merely a slender line cuts through the landscape.
However, it is not only the view of the bridge from afar that is impressive , driving over it is also inspiring: The parallel cable harps bear the conductive carriageway. The curve creates a sense of dynamic and opens new perspectives. Despite crossing the valley, the Sunniberg bridge performs a balancing act between its subordination within the landscape and its autonomy as a symbol of structural engineering.