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www.tourdemoron.ch

Tour De Moron,  Mallerey, 
Jura, Switzerland                  
1998-2004


Tour de Moron, Mallerey, Jura, Switzerland
1998-2004

Project
1998

Construction
2000-2004

Location
Moron 1334 m.o.s., Malleray, Jura , Switzerland

Client
Fondation Tour de Moron, Malleray

Promoters
Commission de surveillance de la Halle des maçons de Moutier, Antoine Bernasconi, Henri Simon, Théo Geiser

Civil Engineer
Stampbach SA, Delémont  (consultancy and seismic calculations)
Angelo Mongillo, Courroux

structure and materials core: double masonry in split Corton ( Bourgogne ) limestone filled with reinforced concrete; steps and railings in cut blocks of Seña stone; lookout platform and roofing: metal structure and zinc plating


The Moron Tower is located in the Bernese Jura on the highlands stretching from the northern edge of Switzerland towards Haute-Savoie and the Black Forest . The tower can be reached via a winding trail that snakes its way through the dense forest, starting at the village of Mallerey . The construction of this belvedere tower was inspired by the intention of giving an image and visibility to the work done by several hundred apprentices in the region as part of their vocational training to become masons/stonecutters. After viewing the designs proposed by the apprentices, Mario Botta embraced the idea that plying a professional trade should also become a tangible sign in the landscape, and he proffered his idea of a 26-meter-tall tower with a diameter of about 6 metres. The solid stone steps are cantilevered around a hollow central bearing structure. Each step is characterised by two stone wedges embedded into vertical slabs that act as a railing. The tower is topped by a steel lookout platform that offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside; to reach the belvedere, the visitor must leave the comfortable steps and climb up a narrow ladder inside the bearing cylinder. Explanatory panels around the edge of the terrace provide tourists with a description of the breathtaking panorama. A metal disc composed of two flattened cones creates a roof over the stone structure. In these mountains above the sweeping plateau, the helical tower – like an arrow driven into the terrain – comes across as an unexpected and somehow disquieting sign. Tourists and wayfarers seeking idyllic landscapes are thus drawn into the reality of austere, authentic beauty that can be found only in a place where, alongside nature, the mark of humanity is also visible.