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The Matterhorn

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Think about a mountain. You certainly have in front of you a pyramid, the mountain that all children draw, snowy, rocky, mythical: the Matterhorn.

At an altitude of 4,478 meters, this one of the highest peaks in the Alps is located on the Italian-Swiss border, between the Aosta Valley and the Swiss canton of Valais.

Whether you had the chance to see it for real or dreamed of it, you will now be able to build and admire this legendary summit at home, in the perfect dimensions for display (26 x 17 x22 cm). The best known and also the most elaborate view is that of the Hörnli ridge separating the north face from the east face.

The Matterhorn has a pyramidal shape with four faces nearly facing the four compass points. Three of them (north, east and west) are on the Swiss side of the border and watershed (Mattertal valley) and one of them (south) is on the Italian side of the border (Valtournenche valley).

The Matterhorn's faces are steep, and only small patches of snow and ice cling to them; regular avalanches send the snow down to accumulate on the glaciers at the base of each face. Different layers of rock can be see: the lower part is sedimentary rock, the middle part is greenschist from the oceanic crust and the peak itself is gneiss from the African continent. This is what I tried to show with the color nuances.

The idea is to offer a version of the Matterhorn as artistic as realistic: showing it only in layers of gray would have been sad and cold. The colored reflections represent ice, snow, powder and must show the beauty of this extraordinary panorama.
 
Because a brick construction would not be funny without its small details, we can see the Solvay refuge where it si in real life: built in 1917 on the edge of the east ridge of the Matterhorn, the refuge rises above the Hörnli hut at exactly 4003 meters above sea level.

Building this version was not easy (about twenty versions in twelve months) : in addition to a solid construction, I tried to make it finally as light as possible because a mountain is not only a pile of stones but also a complex mixture of solids, voids, peaks, cuts, in fact : like life !

Made up of 804 bricks, the Matterhorn is also an ode to nature, with its shades of blue, gray and white: it should remind us how beautiful the mountain is, but how much we must also protect it.

I hope you enjoy this work and that it will make you want to see it for real…at least the brick version ! Imagine the perfect gift for a tourist visiting Lucern, Interlaken or any airport in Switzerland. Do you already see it ? Me too. So thank you for your support !

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