My Mountain // Ice Q – Solden Austria
Spring technically arrived this week, and the clocks are changing this weekend, but here we are in the UK still battling through the snow. London in the snow in March? Quite baffling, yes we’re constantly hop footing it over The Alps sometimes weekly, but usually fortnightly where we’ve had our fair share of challenging installations in snow blizzards this season. Last week Nicky was in a very snowy Munich installing a project that the studio has been working on for a number of years. A chalet client invited Nicky to design the most beautiful family home in Austria, another project we can’t wait to share with you.
All this snow brought us to thinking about the challenges we face on site that we rarely share. Often we can be too busy working with our teams installing we forget to document the snowy conditions we’re working on. Did you see our helicopter install that we shared on our Instagram stories last month? This is a Penthouse chalet we’ve just completed in Val d’Isere, which we’ll be photographing soon.
All these snowy challenges bring us to the feature we wanted to share today. NDID are the market leaders in chalet design, we know how, we know when, and we know who to call on for the trickiest of architectural projects high up in the mountains. So we read with great interest how Ice Q was built in Solden, Austria. Have you seen James Bond Spectre? Well it’s that incredible glass box building and surrounding vistas in the opening scenes of that blockbuster movie.
A dream of glass facades and pure steel meets rock and ice. Created by human hand at 3048 metres altitude. Fascinating and spectacular. Unobtrusive and yet still dominant. The interior is stylish, distinguished, elegant. With uninterrupted views to the breath-taking backdrop of the Ötztal Alps visible via the 900 m² all-encompassing glass facade.
Renowned architects Obermoser, who were involved in the construction of the Gaislachkoglbahn in 2010, have, with Ice Q, created a 4.5 million Euro monument which is worthy of note. Energy-efficient thanks to its triple-glazing and heat recovery system.
Completely built on Permafrost, which we can imagine was no easy task. To counter the settling and movement of the ice base, Bergbahnen Sölden had to construct adjustable and moveable foundations. The entire construction area of ice Q spans an impressive 4500 cubic metres.
It was in 1966 that bold pioneers made the mighty Gaislachkogl accessible via cable car. In the same year tourism visionaries recognised the potential of this unique summit, they constructed the first restaurant there which you see in the photos below. Some 50 years were then to pass until the old restaurant building was to experience the unique sunrise on the Gaislachkogl for the last time in late summer 2012.
It was then torn down. Shortly afterwards building work began on a new, ambitious project with this catchy name, Ice Q. In December of the same year the exclusive gourmet destination at 3048 metres opened its doors, and since that time has been providing delicious food, sophisticated speciality wines and a breath-taking view across the valley. Ice Q has 130 seats inside, 82 seats on the terrace and a roof-top terrace.
Below you will see some of the construction phases shared by the architects.
Ice Q at Gaislachkogl Mountain Station
Visit their website and learn about their ‘Summit Dinner’ here (our tip for experiencing the building at its best moment of the day).
Nicky’s World March 2018