If Crans-Montana dies. Taking care of the ailing body of a tourist resort
New Alpine territories, like Crans-Montana on the Haut-Plateau, remain, more often than not, trapped in a representative logic opposing the clan of modernists to that of defenders of values anchored to an ideal or typical tradition. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Haut-Plateau territory, so called for its geographic location and topographic conformation – and not for the morphology of its soil – was still free of any construction sites. This vast Alpine meadow was marked by a few utility buildings for sheltering cattle and hay during the intermediate phases that precede midsummer. At the turn of the 3rd millennium, the built heritage, essentially consisting of hotel structures and holiday residences, is no longer able to integrate the new socio-economic dynamics based on the mono-culture of skiing. This crisis calls habits, both old and new (given the recent construction of the tourist resort), into question. In June 2000, a Federal program selected Crans-Montana as a case study for testing an Environment and Health Action Plan. This provided an opportunity for a group of architects to formulate an inter-municipal blueprint that activated a series of urban renewal projects. The new emerging architectural formulae attempt to get past stylistic modernism by reinterpreting the relationship with the built environment and its social context.