A Swiss architect’s love affair with a village set to become a hotel

An architect who once studied a small mountain community in Ticino weighs in on plans to turn it into a hotel to keep it from dying out. ( 

This content was published on December 7, 2017 - 11:00

Thomas Amsler, who now lives in the US, first visited Corippo while hiking with his parents in the region in the 1950s. He was so enchanted that he and three architect colleagues produced a book about it in 1959. They were astounded at the amount of stone used, as he recently told swissinfo.chExternal link during a visit to Bern. His best known creation, perhaps, is the high control tower at Logan airportExternal link in Boston. 

Amsler was interested in Corippo partly due to it being the smallest municipality in Switzerland with just 13 permanent residents. To prevent the village from dying out altogether, the old, vacant houses are being turned into a “scattered” hotel with a total of 22 beds. The Osteria (restaurant) would be the front desk and the lanes would become hotel corridors. 

Even though it’s tiny, the village possesses the trappings of a much larger community: it has its own coat of arms, a church and a restaurant.

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