Smout Allen

Stefan Florescu Y5

Augmenting the Vernacular. Despite having a flourishing economy and a very high standard of living, the Swiss population is getting increasingly older. The proposed masterplan proposes a big influx of young tech-savvy pro-fessionals to push the economy forward and contribute to the future pension of Swiss Nationals. 

The immigrant condition in Switzerland is different than in the rest of Europe; foreigners that immi-grate here typically are more likely to have higher-education qualifications. At the same time, an-other phenomenon is happening in Switzerland—significant rural to urban migration. The migratory pattern from rural areas into urban areas is so severe today that some Swiss villages are at risk of disappearing all together. However, the large cities of Switzerland cannot cope with the growing population caused by rural to urban migration and international immigration. 

Albinen, in the western Canton of Valais is one of the villages at risk of disappearing. In order to attract newcomers to this idyllic place, the Mayor resorted to an extreme measure: to offer money for 10 years to each new resident willing to move to Albinen. 

This technologically driven masterplan proposes a new architectural typology in Albinen, a place where new settlers will move temporarily as part of their application process. Located in the middle of the existing village, this new architectural ensemble will use Augmented Reality technology in order to make a step-by-step transition from the urban to rural landscape. The virtual environment will allow newcomers to discover gradually and understand the beauty of this village by making a visual transition between urban like forms and the vernacular architecture of alpine chalets. Initially encountered as a fully immersive AR experience, the virtual elements will gradually fade over time to reveal the physical reality.

Terra Incognita 2019