At a height of 2,300 m above sea level in the rugged mountain landscape of the Julier Pass in the Grisons, Switzerland, this red-painted tower looks like a surreal, out-of-scale photomontage. Giovanni Netzer, the founder and artistic director of the Origen Cultural Festival, sees the structure he conceived as a built stage set, which will nevertheless be removed in 2020. Netzer’s musical and dance theatre will be performed here throughout the year, with a programme that thematically reflects the various seasons. In this way, the mountain panorama, ­visible through the tall arched windows, becomes an integral part of the stage scenery.

An audience of up to 270 can be accommodated, all of whom sit in boxes set on platforms between the ten corner ­towers in a star-shaped layout. These piers, consisting of solid softwood slabs 12 cm thick, form the load-bearing structure and at the same time contain spaces for circulation, sanitary and other services. The central stage, ten metres in diameter, is ­suspended at first floor level from the ceiling above and can be moved up and down by chain hoists. Beneath this are the entrance area and foyer. The use of timber as a natural material lends the interior a sense of warmth and also meets the strict acoustic requirements.