Between South Tyrolean Alps and Tibetan Himalayas

A symposium on the occasion of the opening of the exhibitions "Alps, Architecture, Tourism" and "营造 Contemplating Basics" at Aedes Architecture Forum, as part of the ANCB Programme Paradise Lost, Paradise Found. Globalisation and Sustainable Tourism


Welcome: Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Director, ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin

Introduction: Eduard Kögel, Urban Planner, Berlin


  • On South Tyrol: Susanne Waiz, Curator, Merano
  • On Tibet: Zhang Ke, Principal, standardarchitecture, Beijing
  • On Bhutan: Patrick Gmür, Director, Urban Planning Department, City of Zurich - Official Collaborator, Bumthang Valley Master Plan, Bhutan

Followed by a discussion with:

  • Susanne Waiz, Curator, Merano
  • Zhang Ke, Principal, standardarchitecture, Beijing
  • Patrick Gmür, Director, Urban Planning Department, City of Zurich
  • Ulla Hell, Partner, Plasma Studio, Bolzano
  • Moderator: Eduard Kögel, Urban Planner, Berlin


Pure nature: high mountains, clear skies, an appealing environment and an age-old culture are the most wanted attributes for tourists seeking to fulfil their dream of a “paradise holiday”. But to enable tourism and to make the region accessible requires an effective and flexible infrastructure, like streets, cable cars and designated hiking paths, as well as hotels, apartments, restaurants and wellness facilities. So the contradiction between the demands of dream and reality could not be higher. As a compromise, the aim today is to develop a sustainable way for tourism to serve both the visitors as well as the local people, without harming the most precious assets of the region: its landscapes, culture and sights.

The European Alps and the Himalayan Mountains have both a great natural beauty and an age-old tradition with their own characteristics. In both locations the questions of sustainability and the smart integration of tourist facilities to best serve the people are urgent issues. Changing economies and the challenges posed by the impact of man-made interventions on the environment are crucial topics in need of discussion. From the perspective of planning and architecture it is essential to address the issue of how to ensure successful long-term benefits and improve current conditions to enhance the economic prospects of high-quality tourist destinations. What makes investments sustainable? How should future tourism in high mountain regions develop? Which concepts are needed to sustain traditional culture with contemporary solutions?

The South Tyrolean Alps have been a popular tourist destination for several decades and the impact on the environment and on the social, economic and cultural structures of the inhabitants is well documented. In contrast, Tibet currently has a tourist boom on its doorstep, which needs infrastructure to accommodate the expectations of the visitors and locals alike. ANCB intends to stimulate a discussion on issues of common interest in both regions with the aim of exchanging ideas and learning from best practice.

In the context of the exhibitions on new architecture in the South Tyrolean Alps and the work of standardarchitecture from Beijing in the Tibetan Yarlung River Valley, the symposium will address crucial questions about tourist infrastructure and its impact on landscape, economy, culture and people’s lives.

The event will be in English. Admission is free. Please register at reply[at] We look forward to welcoming you.