Our modern art hotel was built by the architects Otto Pfleghard and Max Haefeli from the year 1898 to 1900 and opened on 21st December 1900. The Schatzalp was created as a deluxe sanatorium and was the leading cure site of the region.
Responsible for the building was Willem Jan Holsboer, who spent nearly 2 years in finding this very spot of land for his dream, but at this time he needed to walk up the hill.
For some reason he could feel a positive radiation at the Schatzalp, without being able to prove it in terms of science. Alfred Bovis, a scientist who invented the BovisBiometer ( the normal value is 6500 Bovis Units, whatever lies beneath that number takes energy, whatever above this gives energy) with which we can measure 26.000 Bovis-Units at certain spots on the Schatzalp.
The sanatorium was one of the first steel-concrete buildings in Graubünden and beside that it was very modern for the time with a flat roof, high sanatorium targets, floor heating etc., not to mention the anticipation of the therapies.
Willem Jan Holsboer, was a very experienced business man who always focused on standard targets while taking risks too. The first thing they came to understood was, that if you want to build a sanatorium at an altitude of 1900 meters above sea-level, there must not be a chance for wind or snow to damage it, so it was decided to build it in a simple but elegant way.
Simple elegances elegance are hard to combine and so two young architects who still needed to gain experience were asked to do the job. The advance was seen in not building it the way it was done so many times before at other places, but in combining several styles.
They wanted to achieve something never seen before and instead of building an aristocratic palace they started to take regional architectural motifs and converted them with new building methods.
The small entrance to the sanatorium Schatzalp was unusual and modern: great halls and wide staircases might have been expected at the time, but here you found yourself in a high entrance which appeared more like a cloister. Facing the entrance you could see a sign of technical progress, a wooden elevator.
The style of the Schatzalp, and the whole sanatorium was a remarkable and shining example of modern architecture of the 20th century. The different styles and elements had the English “Arts and Crafts” style as its basic idea and therefore was no longer bound to the ground plans of a building, but to functionality, with proper size and proportion in every single room.
Unique is the circumstance that the Schatzalp still has the same appearance that it had around 1900 and there was no reconstruction or improper renovation and therefore the building has still its soul and the imprint of a sanatorium. “An old diamond got a new grinding”- this expression of Oscar Miller reflects the steady aim of the Schatzalp appropriate renovations.
The sanatorium is built on an artificially constructed space and equipped with the highest hygiene and comfort standards. No detail was missed, like the bath tubs with lion feet and heated rim in the deluxe rooms, and the flower painted toilet seat from England which had a device to be filled with hot water. The food-elevators connected the main kitchen with all 3 floors and were equipped with plate-warmers so that patients got their food fresh and hot. The rooms were constructed with steps onto the spacious loggias and this difference in height made and still makes it possible to enjoy 2 more hours of sunlight.
The Schatzalp was always connected to the Swiss telephone and telegraph network and had its own Post and telegraph room.
Since 1953/54 the sanatorium Schatzalp is managed as Hotel Schatzalp. And today, in the year 2014, we still have guests who spend their holidays here and we have one regular who has, after 49 years, the same guestroom.
As already mentioned, the soul, the architecture, has been extensively preserved. The dining room and the conversation room still appear as they did 100 years ago. Certainly we had to make changes over the years, but the character of the sanatorium was never touched. The romance and atmosphere of Thomas Mann’s great novel, The Magic Mountain, are still alive in the Schatzalp.
As soon as the heavy iron gates are closed, you can feel yourself transferred back to a time where there was still time, and you will always be able to follow the tracks of the young Castrop or the graceful Madame Chauchat.