An Interview with: The Head of Destination Planning, Andermatt Swiss Alps
We met with Andermatt Swiss Alps’ Head of Destination Planning Ihab Morgan, to discuss his role within the development, his vision for the village and how construction is progressing.
1. How long have you been in this position and working for Andermatt Swiss Alps?
I have worked for Andermatt Swiss Alps (ASA) for five years, previous to my current role as Head of Destination Planning I worked as Head of Planning & Construction from 2007-10.
Previous to Andermatt I have worked as Destination Planner for Flum’s St.Gallen, working on projects such as the RGVK Tower in Cologn, Germany.
Andermatt is a very exciting project for me as it is very complex, it involves a thought-out approach to both dimensions of the project, town planning and architecture. The main complexity is a result of the sympathetic transformation of the existing village alongside creating a process for sustainable extension.
3. Can you describe in 3 words the overall vision behind the planning of Andermatt Swiss Alps?
In three words; environmental, sociological and economical.
There are a lot of considerations to take into account when looking at these three areas. The vital additional word missing from these three is sustainability. It is very important to us as developers as well as myself as Head of Destination Planning that sustainability is incorporated within every aspect of the project, from energy supply and mobility through to ensuring a suitable balance between supply and demand is struck.
I think the most important information to mention firstly is that the new resort has the same building regulations as the existing village, therefore aesthetically it will be in keeping, however, its appeal is that it will be a reflection of the future of Andermatt.
Both the old and new village will compliment one another, possessing separate characteristics and features which will make this a unique destination.
5. How often do you update the local community on the construction/planning progress?
We make a point of updating the community quarterly about the development, the various areas of planning and the construction.
It is essential that the finished resort will be aesthetic, in keeping and full of character, through using a diverse range of buildings (residential, retail, hotel, villas) we hope to ensure the new buildings compliment the existing.
7. How important is it to meet the sustainable MINERGIE® building standards throughout the construction process, and how are you ensuring to achieve this?
It is essential within new builds that they meet the standards set by MINERGIE®. It ensures the project will be built in a sustainable manner. They combine standard technical details and guidelines which architects and technicians must use in order to be given the mark.
My favourite aspect of a development and particularly one like Andermatt is when the local community share their ideas for the development.
9. In your opinion, how is construction progressing? Is building work on track?
Working on such a large project particularly one in a location such as Andermatt has its problems, primarily being limited to working only seven months of the year due to snow fall, however in spite of this construction is progressing well.
There are always ways to speed up construction, however, this is not what we want. The most important thing is that the existing village can absorb the extension and intermix with the new buildings.
The satisfaction of the population of Andermatt is the most important aspect of the construction and planning in my opinion. They are the ones who will carry on Andermatt’s vision through the coming ages. The most rewarding moment so far was in December 2008 when the master plan got approval from the government and population.
For further information on the ownership possibilities at Andermatt Swiss Alps see…
Andermatt Swiss Alps: Real Estate Portfolio
Video: The Making Of Andermatt
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