by Malcolm Clark
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The Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyrol designed by architect Matteo Thun is located at 1,500 meters of altitude on the legendary Monte San Vigilio. The view from here is simply fantastic, the marvellous Adige Valley as far as the eye can see, surrounded by enchanting mountains with the majestic Dolomites as backdrop. Nature has inspired the architectural style of the Vigilius, an excellent example of contemporary architecture, where materials like wood, glass, natural stone and clay are preferred.

Nature marks the time and pace of the day. Let off some steam, leave your everyday life behind you, find a new sense of well-being. A simple but profound concept, to abandon yourself to nature and draw new energy from its force. Getting to Vigilius Mountain Resort is like reaching an island on a mountain. The enchanting panoramic views prepare the mind for a new beginning, a new perception of yourself, leaving all the rest behind in the valley. The complete absence of cars helps to perceive nature through the sound of a mountain breeze, the only noise which sometimes breaks the absolute mountain silence. Vigilius is only accessible on foot or by cable car, the second oldest in Europe, and maybe a unique example of its kind.

Vigilius Mountain Resort is a reinterpretation of the old hotel built in 1912. Considering the precarious state of the previous building, in 2000, it was decided to completely demolish the old building and replace it with the new resort. The architect and client wanted a wooden building which blended in with the environment in a sort of total interaction between nature and architecture. In order to make his dream come true, Ulrich Ladurner, a charismatic businessman from Merano, commissioned the work to world famous architect Matteo Thun, a native of South Tyrol with an open and innovative style characterised by an absolute respect for nature. Together, they managed to create an attraction for people from all over the world.

For Matteo Thun, the Vigilius Mountain Resort is a “salon beyond modernness”, a sort of secret hiding place, a childhood tree-house. Like a gigantic tree rooted to the ground, the compact structure blends in with the surrounding scenery. The effect is accentuated by the wooden planking façade, inspired by the bark of trees. The perfect balance between nature and architecture, tradition and modernness, warmth and design, comes from this successful blend without leaving space to impudent architectural impositions and in contrast with the previously existing one.

    Vigilius Mountain Resort 103

    Vigilius Mountain Resort

    Merano / Italy / 2003