Plans for a 381m high luxury hotel tower in a sleepy Alpine village have just been unveiled – and the designer is convinced it will fit right in. But is it any more than a castle in the air?

“Vals’ magic formula is very simple,” reads the promotional blurb for the 7132 hotel at Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s famous alpine spa resort, which has been a site of worship for countless design pilgrims since it opened in 1996. “1000 residents, 1000 sheep and 1000 hotel beds. This magical ratio is the secret of the relaxed atmosphere in the Vals valley. Discretion is everything.”

Not any more. The owners of the hotel – property developer Remo Stoffel and local quarry entrepreneur Pius Truffer – have today unveiled plans to build the tallest building in Europe right next door, an 80-storey silo stuffed with luxury bedrooms.

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