Homage to Grison Confectioners

On 25 May, Tor Alva was opened at ETH Zurich. Beniamin Dillenburger's professorship, Digital Building Technologies (dbt), together with the Nova Fundaziun Origen and project participants from research and industry, presented various stages of the project.

The Tor Alva will be located in the mountain village of Mulegns and is intended to save the small mountain village from extinction - currently only 14 people live in the village. The tower's design is reminiscent of the pastries made by Graubünden's confectioners, who once travelled the world with their marzipan stollen and royal cakes from London to Palermo, from Paris to St. Petersburg.

The entire structure of the tower is designed with specially developed software. The digital technologies used in the design process make it possible to plan all the details precisely and transmit the necessary data directly to the printing process. The columns of the 30-metre-high 3D-printed tower are made of 4000 extruded concrete layers that have an organic appearance.

The Tor Alva is a walk-in installation, a place of cultural mediation and an intimate concert space. A foretaste of the sounds that will resound after the tower's completion in 2024 was provided at the opening: the Richter Trio concluded the successful event with a classical concert.

Project details Tor Alva

Information on the Nova Fundaziun Origen

Tor Alva 5

Project Credits


  • Nova Fundaciun Origen


  • Benjamin Dillenburger
  • Michael Hansmeyer

ETH Zurich Research

  • Digital Building Technologies
  • Physical Chemistry of Building Materials
  • Concrete Structures and Bridge Design

This research is supported by NCCR Digital Fabrication.

  • Industrypartners
  • Invias Zindel Uffer
  • Conzett Bronzini Partner AG
  • BASF/Knauf