The Maiensäss - Theses on the current Maiensäss-Culture in the Canton of Grisons

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2015 until June 2019 (finished)


PhD in Architecture and Planning

Main Research

Sustainable Planning and Construction

Field of Research

Sustainable Design


Trough Industrialization, related technical achievements and social changes "Maiensäss"-Buildings lose increasingly its agricultural use, since the middle of last century. The change in secondary residences is based on the desire for peaceful and quiet places - temporary lifeworlds far away from the professional-urban everyday world. There is often an emotional attachment and a sense of moral responsibility to preserve the traditional structure. In case of replacement buildings one can observe, beside the imitation of traditional structure, an alignment of the architecture to the new use. By adapting the facilities and infrastructure to the everyday world, this development means that the longing for simplicity and Original becomes Utopia. In previous research, the historic agricultural systems have been reconstructed and the regional cultural influences examined. In relation to the transformation process the spatial planning regulations of the mountain cantons were compared. It lacks an inventory of the current ideas of "Maiensäss"-Users to derive forward-looking landscapescenarios, consisting of images and theses. The existing data and documents are supplemented by field work and interviews. The aim is to raise awareness, in order to draw attention to the conformation to everyday architecture and urban sprawl in the alpine areas.


alpine architecture, landscape scenarios, conception of space