It’s been eight years since I was last in Vals, and that was summer. We had rented a flat in the village, but up from the one square around which is a small hotel, a restaurant, and a church. I have a friend who spends the Christmas holidays at the hotel.
This time around we’re at the 7132, attached to the thermal baths designed by Peter Zumthor, in an Ando-designed room. There exists a collaboration between two Japanese architects and Zumthor–The aesthetic is about the space between, it seems to me, and Zumthor’s famous quote, one of many, “There is no thing, but the thing itself,” is apt in terms of his use of beautiful local stone and the power of silence implied by absence of objects. It’s all rather ironic, and it works.
A short panoramic walk above the village today, after breakfast, capped by a stop in a tiny village above Vals where Zumthor designed several homes. Last night it was dinner at “Red” and tonight I heard about a midnight swim.