The construction of habitability in Val Bregaglia in the 20th century
Both urbanized Alpine territories and cities share the need for a continuous renewal of spaces, and the theme of the regeneration of mountain areas is all the more topical due to the change in the ways of inhabiting such places. In order to play an active role in these transformations, contemporary architecture should take into account the interpretation of both the landscape and the urban fabric. Among the architect’s analysis tools, comparison with the past plays a significant role, and especially in the Alpine valleys, where the circulation of ideas is sometimes slower or “overdue” compared to dynamic urban realities.
The occasional presence of professionals coming from other locations, often from cities, can be considered an opportunity to renew the local architectural culture; these architectures materialize perspectives “from an outside eye” and fresh interpretations of places. In the Alpine valleys, tourism and the exploitation of water resources are two themes often related to the presence of “infiltrations”: although Val Bregaglia is fairly untouched by tourism development, it provides some examples of holiday homes and bears the signs of large infrastructural interventions related to the exploitation of water resources.
During the twentieth century, there were no resident architects in Val Bregaglia. After the economic crisis of the years between the two world wars, design activities saw the intervention of architects such as Bruno Giacometti (Stampa, 1907-Zollikon, 2012), Peppo Brivio (Lugano 1923-2016), Tita Carloni (Rovio 1931-Mendrisio 2012) and Pierre Zoelly (Zurich 1923-2003).
More recently, Miller & Maranta (Basel), H.J. Ruch (St. Moritz) and Lazzarini (Samedan) also carried out projects in this territory.