The Maiensäss: Theses on the future of Swiss Alpine summer farms in the Canton of Grisons.

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Capaul, A.-L. (2018). The Maiensäss: Theses on the future of Swiss Alpine summer farms in the Canton of Grisons. In J. Verbeke (Ed.), Proceedings of the CA2RE conference at the KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Ghent (pp. 41-50). Brussels: KU Leuven.

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Abstract

Initially the Maiensäss is an intermediate mountain pasture, situated between the Alp and the farm in the valley. Since the middle of last century the buildings increasingly become redundant for alpine farmers due to agricultural and social changes. The conversion in weekend cottages is based on the longing for idyllic places. One can observe an emotional attachment and a sense of moral responsibility to preserve the cultural heritage as places of remembrance. Whereas, the continuous approximation to modern conveniences makes, the longing for simplicity and authenticity become utopia. In past research settlements were inventoried. It lacks an exploration of the current Maiensässe and a comparison between built reality and a collective utopia to develop theses on the future of Swiss Alpine summer farms. My research consists of an inventory and image development through the lens of architectural perspective, characterized by the inductive research approach and the step-by-step approximation from large to small scale and from abstract to concrete concepts. The intention is to generate socially robust knowledge, developed in close collaboration with practice. Through this kind of knowledge production I would like to raise awareness of architectural interventions in the context of cultural heritage and illustrate new perspectives.

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