Les Cerniers, Switzerland
The Whitepod eco-luxury resort, situated high in the Swiss Alps about an hour outside of Lausanne, immerses its guests in the unique experience of the alpine landscape.
Montalba Architects and their Whitepod project won the 2020 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The eighteen individual geodesic domes, called Pods, that make up the resort borrow materials and forms of the natural world to achieve structural and spiritual harmony with the surrounding ecosystem.
The pod design was inspired by the concept of Zen as well as Wu Ting movement theory, which postulates that “everything is connected, everything is energy.”
The five movements (or type of energies) are each connected to an element; the translation to the earth, the exchange of energy to the water, the evolution of time to the wood, the inner energy to the metal, and finally, the external energy to fire.
The interconnectivity and the notion of the ritual of the five natural elements inform both the Pods’ exterior and interior. A central circle – that conceptually represents the cycle of time – is shifted and duplicated to create a relative positioning of programmatic spaces.
The wooden walls are curved to define these spaces and finished with precise details. The focal point of the primary space is a recessed bed surrounded by a tatami mat, and a raised tub echoes this positioning at the core of the circular path.
Human ritual lies at the heart of Pod construction, and in the midst of breathtaking mountain views, it has become a transformative experience.
Architects: Montalba Architects, Inc.
Client: Whitepod Resorts SA
General Contractor: Montalba Architects
Photographers: Delphine Burtin