A venue for culture

  25.08.2020 Local News

The Les Arts Foundation is to be dissolved, but a cultural centre in Gstaad is still on the table – it has to be. There are numerous ideas and projects. A specially appointed temporary commission has now been given the task of developing and evaluating a multi-purpose infrastructure for sports and culture. The location is clear: the municipality and tourism favour the Saanematte.

The location was hotly debated during the evaluation of Les Arts Gstaad and the Sportzentrum, the current location of the Menuhin Festival Tent, was raised time and again. Now the question of location for any future projects seems to have been resolved: the municipality and tourism favour the ice rink area for outdoor offers, the Saanematte (current location of the festival tent) for indoor offers.

There are spatial planning reasons that speak for the two locations. Thomas Bollmann, administrative director of the municipality of Saanen, explains the fundamental decision. “If we want to build on a meadow without an existing designation to building zone, we are taking major spatial planning risks and may lose years before we know whether we will get the green light for the designation. If the decision is negative, we’re back to zero.” It is different with the area around the sports centre/tennis hall, which has been designated to building zone and can therefore be developed without taking the same risks.

Pooling ideas
After the announcement of the dissolution of the Les Arts Foundation, various groups independently developed new projects for a cultural centre. “When we realised this we called on everyone to get in touch with us,” explains president of the municipality Toni von Grünigen. Nine projects were submitted, six in the field of culture, three in the field of sports

Temporary building commission
A temporary building commission has now been appointed for the next steps – similar to the one responsible for the planning of the ice rink area (see GstaadLife issue 5|2020). The commission combines representatives of the municipality, the Sportzentrum Gstaad AG and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy AG. It is responsible for drawing up and evaluating the development of a new multi-purpose infrastructure for sports and culture.

The commission’s tasks are numerous and demanding: assessing the needs of the stakeholders; developing a new building project as well as a traffic concept, a financing concept and an operating concept; and eventually the supervision and implementation of the new building. Representatives of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, Institut Le Rosey and other user groups, such as the Country Night, will be consulted.



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