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High altitude restaurant to open in March

An ariel view of Les Diablerets restaurant designed by Mario Botta

(Keystone)

One of Switzerland's most difficult construction projects in recent years - a restaurant on the Les Diablerets glacier at an altitude of 3,000 metres - is nearing completion just 10 months after it began.

The building has a metallic framework on concrete foundations and was designed by architect Mario Botta to form a visible link between the mountain and the cable car station.

Cable car director Jean-Paul Jotterand says what would have taken builders about 15 months to complete at a lower altitude had to be finished within a year because of extreme climate conditions. "Even worse than temperatures as low as minus 18 degrees Celsius were the violent winds," he said.

Some 70 builders at a time were involved in the project, often working through the night so that it would be finished on time. Total construction costs came to about SFr 17 million ($10.5 million).

The scheduled opening of a self-service section of the restaurant is on March 3, and the building's panoramic terrace is due to be ready two months later, in time for the start of the summer season.

swissinfo with agencies


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