Shangri-La at the Shard's status as the highest hotel in Western Europe could soon be toppled by a new project in Switzerland.
The tiny spa village of Vals, Switzerland, is set to accommodate the 7132 Hotel, which if completed is predicted to surpass the Shard's 1,012 ft as the tallest building in Europe.
Standing alongside the post-modern Therme Vals Spa, the 7132 Hotel will tower over the village at 1250 ft, offering 107 guest rooms and suites.
If successfully completed, the 7132 Hotel will also surpass Dubai's JW Marriott Marquis as the world's tallest dedicated hotel.
The idea for the hotel originated in the Swiss 7132 Hotel design competition. The company backing the project, 7132 Ltd, commissioned Morphosis Architects' design as the jury heading the competition could not come to a decision on a winner between finalists including Steven Hall Architects and 6a Architects.
Thom Mayne, founder of the Los Angeles-based Morphosis and recipient of the Pritzker prize, is the design director for the project. His previous projects include the San Francisco Federal Building and the University of Toronto graduate house.
"Lifting guest rooms high above the Valser Valley, the hotel tower becomes a minimalist object connecting guests to nature. The tower's reflective skin and slender profile camouflage with the landscape, abstracting and displacing the valley and sky."
The hotel's mirrored surface will, "draw an invisible line against the mountain", and the interior and exterior material palette will be "drawn from the local context, engaging with the landscape and singularity of the location".
Amenities will include grand arrival and reception - guests may pay to be transported from any airport or home within Switzerland to the hotel by limousine or helicopter - spas, restaurants, a café and bar, ballroom, gallery, a library shared with by guest and village residents, a pool and fitness and business centers.
Though the design offered by Morphosis is concerned with preserving the sublimity of the Vals valley, literally reflecting it in its architecture, the proposed hotel intuitively contrasts with Val's rejection of "noisy mass tourism".
A skyscraper like the 7132 Hotel would likely necessitate and cater for such tourism, at odds with Vals' preference of discretion - the 'small and beautiful'.
Despite potentially jeopardising the tranquility that the village's 1,047 inhabitants enjoy, the design is set to begin development this year, with a projected date of completion in 2019.
Meanwhile Shangri-La at the Shard in London is currently able to boast that it has Western Europe's highest hotel room, after it opened for business last year. Room 4803 in the hotel sits on the 48th floor of the 72-floor structure.
Images courtesy of Morphosis Architects