Monday, April 13, 2009


Our next stop was the small town of Vna. A town of roughly 70 people high in the Alps. Who would have thought such beautiful architecture could exist in such a remote place. The Swiss architect Christoph Lrosch designed a home/art gallery for an artist from Zurich. The all-concrete structure was inspiring. The detail work and craftsmanship was out of this world. I had never before been so excited. If this was just the first of what was to come, I knew I was in store for a trip of a lifetime and something that would stay with me forever.
After nearly a 5 hour drive through the Alps we had finally made it to our home for the next 9 days. The small town of Vigniogn was quite and just that, small. Located at the top of the town was a small Catholic Prepatory school. Due to the lack of students in attendance, we were able to use this school, which had rooms, beds, showers and a kitchen for all of us. It was quite perfect because of its central location to what we were to see in the upcoming days.

[During our stay in Switzerland there were quite a few issues regarding the students and faculty from RISD. Differences in culture, opinion, professionalism and focus seemed to cause a rift most of the time. Let’s just say, I am extremely happy to be attending Kansas State and know that I will be prepared to do what I have to do when I graduate.] I’ll leave it at that.


Elevation: 6200 ft

Davos is truly a ski town. Tourists everywhere. It was probably an average of around 20-25 Franks per meal. While in Davos we were able to visit Schatzalp, which was a Sanitarium that people would stay at in order to receive treatment for tuberculosis. The thin air and sun treatments would greatly improve their health. The sanitariums have been converted into luxury hotels visited by skiers and vacationers. In Davos is where 7 students from DIA, Dessau Institute of Architecture, met with us to join along for the remainder of the trip. During our first visits with the students, we obviously had a lot of questions about the program and about Dessau. They were happy to lend us some insight into what could be expected, most of which we probably did not want to hear. [More on that to

come soon]


The four of us took the train from Zurich to the city of Chur. There we finally met professor Daniel Wasser. A native Swiss architect and professor at the HTW. [A Swiss architecture school] Daniel was going to be our “tour guide” for the trip and would eventually become a great friend.

While in Chur we were able to visit the Roman Ruins by Peter Zumthor, which really is quite an amazing structure. Students from RISD, Rhode Island School of Design met us in Chur and we then began our trip to Davos, Switzerland.

Off to Europe. The flight to London was probably the best flight I have ever had in my life, and I have flown quite a bit. Now, most of my overseas flights have been military charter which may have had some influence, but nonetheless I was extremely happy.

Switzerland. After arriving in London we Cameron and I met up with Savannah and Josh in Luton to fly to Zurich, Switzerland. Once we were on the ground, we were slapped in the face by the impending language barrier after it took us nearly 15 minutes to explain to a taxi driver where our Hostel was located. Switzerland rapidly became one of, if not the most expensive place I have ever been. After spending 80 Swiss Franks on the cab ride which was equivalent to nearly 60 Dollars, we finally arrived at the Youth Hostel Zurich. The Hostel was extremely clean and the people were very nice. To make a long story short we were supposed to have transportation in the form of a rental car for us to se while in Switzerland but on the night of our arrival we were notified that the plans had changed and that we were to leave Zurich the very next day to head to the city of Chur to meet Prof. Daniel Wasser. During this “disaster” we were cheated out of 50 Swiss Franks for reserving an extra night. Really not a great start to our Swiss experience.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Switzerland - Germany

Finally .... there will be more to come... soon