If you thought you had seen everything, get ready to enjoy what will be the first hotel where you can sleep and ski (literally) on its deck.
While, we choose a hotel we must take into account three criteria: the activity we are going to do, the place where we are going to stay and the amenities we want to enjoy. In terms of winter sports, such as skiing, the options are considerably reduced, although luckily there are more and more avant-garde companies to offer us new and interesting options and find the best hotel for skiers.
Today, in the most important luxury magazine in the sector, we present an ideal hotel for lovers of architecture, watches and skiing (with capital letters all three). Of course, you will have to wait a bit, until the year 2021, in which the Hotel des Horlogers, in Le Brassus, Switzerland, is expected to open its doors again with a spectacular design that will delight lovers previously mentioned … And from other visitors and users!
For those who do not know, Le Brassus is a small and idyllic town located in the Joux Valley, whose main feature (in addition to the natural beauty that surrounds it) is to host one of the most important watch brands in Switzerland and of the world: Audemars Piguet. In fact, the oldest building in the town is the museum of the brand, where real jewels of work and the history of the company are exhibited.
It is precisely Audemars Piguet the promoter of the fantastic building that will replace the current hotel, whose design, by the popular Danish architects of Bjarke Ingels -more known as BIG-, will leave us speechless (with the dangers that this entails). BIG is so popular that in its Instagram account it has a whopping 412,000 followers, so that we get an idea far outweighs Frank Gehry with 72,000 and Norman Foster with 180,000 and arrives very close to the architecture studio of the late Zaha Hadid with 470,000.
But let’s stop, the hotel under construction will allow guests to ski zigzag along its deck, gently reaching the slopes of the hill where it sits, thus integrating itself into the unique topography of the valley. The building is created by joining five volumes with different heights that make up the ramp, following the same inclination as the skirt of the mountain.
The hotel will consist of 50 rooms, all with a large window overlooking the surrounding valley, as well as the adjacent slopes. It is designed to fully enjoy the place, there is no doubt about that. Of course, the same slope of the roof is in the interior corridors, allowing easy communication between heights. The hotel will have two restaurants, a bar, spa, wellness area and a conference center (you know … to work!).
The building takes full advantage of sunlight, being oriented towards the valley and not towards the forested hillside. The total constructed area will be about 6,300 square meters, housing 30,000 cubic meters of air inside, in architecture it is important to define the volume occupied by a building given that it gives us an idea of the air capacity it houses and the comfort it can reach.
In the summer months the majestic track will be covered with grass, forming a spectacular leisure area for guests and visitors. However, this is not the first BIG project where they incorporate ski slopes on decks, there is another one for Lapland that was not built and a second one in Copenhagen, the Amager Bakke, an energy generating plant from the incineration of debris that, on its cusp, has a cover where you can ski.
Another study, CCHE Architecture, with offices in Lausanne, Nyon and Geneva, has been commissioned by the watch brand for the realization of the project, as well as responsible for general planning. In other words, the agent that will adapt BIG’s ideas to the legal, normative and constructive reality of Switzerland, almost nothing. They explain that a large part of the materials used will be from the region, wood and stones especially.
The engineering company Ingphi SA, which has intervened in the structural calculation, tells us that the building has dimensions in plan of 30 by 80 meters, that it has an extensive underground parking and that the main structure will be of reinforced concrete, except for the floor slabs, which will be mixed, using laminated wood and reinforced concrete. The wood used in the manufacture of the beams will be from the Joux Valley spruce itself (no one is afraid, they will be from Forestry, thus guaranteeing the protection of the forests).
Other collaborating companies of this great project are Pierre Chuard Ingenieurs-conseils S.A. (specialists in renewable energy), the company responsible for fire protection Ignis Salutem, Ecoacoustique SA, which is responsible for acoustics, Alterego Concept SA, dedicated to environmental consulting and, among others, Thorens et Associes SA, an office topography that, according to what is seen, will be very necessary.
Every good project requires a good design, in this case by BIG, one of the most prolific design studios in Europe, a committed promoter, such as the Audemars Piguets watchmaker, and a large group of companies that are responsible for very varied activities, hopefully, we can enjoy this great architectural show in a year… Are we reserving a place?