The Badehotel actually consists of three joined hotels, of which only two were accessible. Built on the site of three gasthausen dating back to the 14th century, the gasthauses were demolished and work began on the original structure in 1844 in a neoclassical design. In 1873, work began on an extension, which also was built to the same style. From then, several famous people, including German composer Richard Strauss and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, stayed at the hotel.
Over time, the popularity of the bathing and wellness hotels in the area began to wane, and so a 50 million Swiss Franc redevelopment was conducted in 1989, which included a Roman Bath, senior citizen centre and health centre. The redevelopment still failed to generate interest in the hotel and so a complete site redevelopment was proposed in 1996, but was rejected as the building had been classified as a listed site (in 1967), limiting the amount of work that could be completed. In 2002, the same plans were submitted for redevelopment, including demolition of the hotel completely but these were again rejected due to the listed status of the site. In September 2002, the site was closed completely.
The site was acquired by a property developer in 2006 and a contract awarded for redevelopment with new plans in 2009. During this time, the building was gutted, with the proposal to leave the facades and atriums of the old building and to replace with a newer construction. Also in 2009, 100 people illegally spent the night in the empty hotel, vandalising and stealing from the building. 32 arrests were made and all were later convicted of trespass.
In 2017, the 1989 thermal baths and staadhof was demolished and it was announced in December 2017 that work would begin on the redevelopment in the spring of 2018, limiting the time available to view this splendid building.
The day started with me shovelling snow from the drive and heating up the car. What should have been a drive of about an hour, it was almost double that with heavy snow falling the entire journey. Getting there, access was simple and a merry few hours was spent photographing. The snow and clouds meant a tripod was required for most shots and many a minute was spent trying to get into the other hotel on the site, which was properly boarded up. A stunning building and I hope the refurbishment stays faithful to the architecture inside and out.
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