Sports and luxury
Giovanni Pitscheider, Dario Fusaro
BladIdea Studio di Architettura
The first Active Luxury Resort catering for mountain lovers was opened in July last year. For the construction of this five-star hotel, the Scaglia family invested a total of 15 million euros as part of its efforts to diversity from the mobile telephony business into sectors ranging from artificial intelligence to tourism. The hotel extends over three levels, one underground and two above ground. The architectural project was the work of Bladidea, a firm that has branches in Turin and Saint Vincent, while architect Nisi Magnoni from Milan-based practice NM Architetti was commissioned to design the interiors.
Located in a woodland clearing, campZero combines nature, sports and technology to offer guests a unique and unconventional experience.
Architecture and nature
The hotel stands at the edge of woodland a few hundred metres from the village of Champoluc in the upper Ayas valley. It has thirty guest rooms of different types located on two levels complete with a 25 metre swimming pool, a spa, a fitness room, an indoor climbing gym and in the winter an outdoor ice wall for practicing the «piolet-traction» ice climbing technique. Used to progress frontally on ice walls or frozen waterfalls, in this technique the climber pulls up with his arms using two ice axes planted alternately above his head while supporting his weight on the front points of his crampons.
At the centre of the new structure, a boulder-shaped mass represents the functional and compositional hub of the building and houses the vertical connections and the large bouldering room with climbing walls that are perfectly integrated into the lobby. This mass was created entirely from reinforced concrete and stands out for its geometries, textures and coloured pigmentation reminiscent of natural rock.
The overall architectural project is based on the typical model of a rural Alpine building, adapted to fit in with the relatively undeveloped context characterised by the presence of traditional buildings of modest scale. To minimise its impact, the ground floor of the hotel — enclosed entirely by glazed surfaces — was positioned below a plinth with a Y-shaped green roof. This in turn is delimited by a strip of Corten steel that is connected to the ground at its three ends, exploiting the morphology of the site sloping from the valley road towards the Evançon stream.
Traces of glaciers
The plinth is traversed by the boulder-shaped mass that serves as the connecting area between the hospitality spaces and stands at the hub of the three guest room blocks, each composed of a cluster of ten small wooden volumes with single-pitched metal roofs and different orientations.
The discontinuous skyline is vaguely reminiscent of rural settlements constructed around scattered boulders, large rocks transported downstream by glaciers and against which houses were built.
Economy of materials, choice of well-balance colours
The aim of the project was to reduce the built effect by juxtaposing the guest room volumes with more natural shapes and reducing the bulkier volumes of the common areas almost to the level of underground structures.
The interior design project used a limited number of materials chosen in colours that would blend in with the natural environment.
In the campZero guest rooms, each individual element, material and colour is at once a reference to and a modern reinterpretation of the tradition of the Val d’Aosta. The distinction between interior and exterior spaces is blurred by the full-height windows that look out onto breathtaking views, the garden that runs as far as the surrounding woods, and the ceramic surfaces in the spa and wellness areas that extend beyond the building’s perimeter to create the outdoor solarium.
Surfaces from Ceramiche Caesar were chosen to give the various spaces a clear identity. The Roxtones quartzite-effect series was selected for the bathrooms, while the Vibe series inspired by wood species dominates the spaces of the entrance lobby. The stone-effect surfaces of the Verse series are used in the restaurant and the concrete-effect Slab series in the ski room. The metal textures of the Trace Mint series were used to clad the swimming pool, while the pool surround is paved with Absolute slabs that recreate the natural appeal of Beola granite (customised by the Caesartech Solutions division) and extend as far as the outdoor perimeter of the hotel.