At the beginning of our era, there was a Gallo-Roman temple on Ufenau; with the Christianization of Switzerland, the island turned into an important religious center. Due to its small size (only 11 hectares), its territory has never been actively developed as agricultural land. The chapel of St. Martin of the 7th - 8th centuries has been preserved there. and the church of Sts. Peter and Paul of the 12th century, standing on the foundations of an ancient temple. These two sacred buildings and several civil buildings dating back to the 16th - 17th centuries stand in a unique natural environment.
In order to make the island even more attractive for tourists (over the summer it is visited by at least 2,000 people), the owners of Ufenau, the Einsiedeln monastery, decided to carry out a complex of landscaping works under the slogan “Ufenau - an island of silence”.
Within its framework, a new landscape design will be created for the southern coast, paths for disabled visitors will be laid, the chapel and church will be restored, as well as the former house of a farmer-tenant in 1683.
But the main part of this program will be the construction of a new summer restaurant worth 6 million Swiss francs. The main difficulty that Zumthor faced when developing the project was the need to fit the building into the existing historical ensemble of architectural monuments, which is distinguished, first of all, by the laconic forms and the use of building materials - wood and stone - without any decor.
All utility rooms and the kitchen of the future restaurant will be located in a volume of compacted concrete recessed into the ground. Its shape looks more like a huge boulder than a building. There will be a self-service counter in front of it, which will be used only with a large influx of customers. Nearby, a pavilion will be built on a platform of oak wood, clad with movable glass panels. Its canopy roof, measuring 16 by 40 m, will be supported by thin metal supports. Since it will be made of Douglas Fir wood, it will take on a silvery hue over time to match the historic wooden structures on the island.