LocationLenzerheide, 7078 Vaz/Obervaz, Switzerland
Lead ArchitectsCarlos Martinez, Matthias Waibel, Carmen Hernández
Natural, authentic and trend-oriented. When a sports hotel is reduced to the bare essentials, a feeling of freedom towards life as well as an unconventional architectural concept is created. The long, narrow building perches on the edge of steep terrain with the sweeping mountain forest in the background. The two lightly angled elements of the building follow the shoreline of the Heidsee. The front of the structure with a lobby, bar, and restaurant faces the entrance to the Rothorn cable car invitingly and forms the communal center of the hotel. An additional four floors with a total of 96 rooms are supported above this massive ground-floor foundation where the generously scaled winter sports room and bicycle room are located.
The hotel unites the atmosphere of a mountain chalet with the liberating feeling of a campervan and the functionality of a ship’s cabin. All rooms face West toward the water and bring to mind the image of a VW bus: one park at the lake opens the tailgate and feels a sense of freedom. A large wall-to-wall bed and a floor-to-ceiling panorama window with ventilation wings intensify this impression. The rooms are optimized in the space of just 15m². Ceilings, floors, and walls are constructed in modules of natural, unfinished plywood – supports, room dividers and interior finishing all in one.
A double-walled effect is created by arranging the rooms next to each other which also provides improved acoustic isolation. The bathroom is installed in a multi-functional box. The readymade, fully-equipped room modules were pre-fabricated allowing for precise workmanship as well as short construction and assembly at the site. Modern technology and unaffected design converge here naturally. This is evident both inside and out. The metal façade of the foundation with a vertical patterned surface, the abstractly arranged window slits and the floor-to-ceiling glazing demonstrate austerity. On the façade of the four floors of rooms, the individual modules are emphasized by way of protruding metal siding, apart from that, the building is clearly a wood construction with vertical slats of rough-cut, untreated larch.
Living Space in the Modular Design
The distinctive centerpiece of the hotel is its individual rooms, inspired by the image of a VW bus. A large wall-to-wall bed, a floor-to-ceiling panorama window with narrow ventilation wings and a deep windowsill, as well as the compact bath set in as a box add to this image. Innumerable well-thought-out details make the rooms special; the large heating element in a corner to dry gloves and clothing, several hooks for odds and ends. The bed can be used as a sofa to watch TV and relax and an automatic folding device simplifies this transformation.
The standard rooms, each the width of a bed, are optimized in just 15m². There are also four barrier-free and 28 triple-bed rooms. Each cabin is designed as a room-module made of spruce planks which form the supports, space dividers and the interior finishing all in one. The effect of a double-wall is achieved by arranging the rooms next to each other which also provides improved acoustic isolation. The prefabricated modules are suited for this design and offer the distinct advantage of high-quality workmanship, as well as short construction and assembly at the site.