History

In 1986 the family owners of the Hotel Scuol Palace decided to transform the bathhouse into an arthouse to get an extra star for their hotel.

The Lower Engadin artist Steivan Liun Könz from Guarda shared this idea with Henry F. Levy, the founder of the BINZ39 Foundation in Zurich, and convinced him to travel to Engadin and visit the site. Henry F. Levy, immediately fell in love with the architecture of the bathhouse on the Inn river. As a result, after short negotiations with the Senn family, Levy decided for the restoration of the neglected building. In return he got first buyer's privileges for the property, a suite in the hotel, as well as rights for the artists to eat in the hotel free of charge. Peter Senn went bankrupt 18 months later and Levy bought the house.

Over the next ten years the BINZ39 Foundation has run the arthouse, which included 10 artist studios and accommodation with curators that changed annually. The arthouse was conceived from the outset as a cultural centre. In 1998 the sponsorship was extended. The canton of Grisons and the Lower Engadin region (pro engiadina bassa) got involved in the operation together with the BINZ39 Foundation. The artist and architect Christof Rösch took the post of an artistic director in 1998 providing NAIRS with a dynamic cultural programme for a broad public. This transition period ended in 2005 with the founding of the NAIRS Foundation. Henry F. Levy granted the building to the newly established foundation on the condition that it continues to be used for artistic purposes.

In the years that followed Fundaziun NAIRS continued to expand their activities. In 2011 the Cultural Centre was renamed NAIRS Centre for Contemporary Art. In June 2011 Dr. Hans-Jörg Heusser became the Foundation President, working closely with the director Christof Rösch. Together with the Board of Trustees they developed the project NAIRS FUTUR. Its first step includes the renovation of the bath house that was built in 1913. The second step will lead to a new operating concept and is planned to start in autumn 2014.