Project Of The Week – The Bürgenstock Resort
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a glamorous 5* Swiss resort with captivatingly panoramic views, uniquely positioned in Canton Nidwalden. Perched amidst a breathtaking backdrop of mountainous landscapes in the heart of Switzerland, the resort is strategically and seamlessly nestled beside the summit of mountain Bürgenstock. Taking full advantage of the profoundly awakening scenes bestowed by this scenic peninsula, the complex sits 874 m above sea level, surrounded almost in its entirety by the vast, deep-blue expanse of Lake Lucerne and winding Alpine foothills.
MKV Design took on this extraordinary project with the aim of creating a luxurious hotel resort which sits harmoniously with the serene natural landscapes that subsequently envelop this lavish retreat, where each uniquely tailored space brings about a synergy between the resort’s guests and the encompassing natural environment. Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director at MKV Design, tells us more.
Company: MKV Design
Project: The Bürgenstock Resort
Project Location: Switzerland
What was the client’s brief?
For over 100 years, Bürgenstock was one of Europe’s most legendary resorts, the glamorous destination for celebrities, a place of immense design vision and a location that offered complete immersion into the natural world. Our task was to restore its iconic status by drawing on this inheritance to create a new legacy for the future. We achieved this by creating several of the resort’s highlights, including the Bürgenstock Hotel, the 108,000-square-foot Alpine Spa, The Palace Hotel and Conferences, The Grand Residence Suites and the Sharq Oriental Restaurant and Shisha Lounge. Our design provides a guest experience that is specific to each part with buildings that nevertheless create a homogeneous destination.
What inspired the design of the Project?
Our interior design concept celebrates the heritage of this iconic resort dating from the 19th and through the 20th Century from Belle Epoque to ‘Palm Springs’ in the 1950’s, which helped to make the resort synonymous with glamour and sophistication. Nevertheless, the resort is very much designed with today’s high guest expectations in mind and is aimed at a geographically diverse clientele.
We also took inspiration from the resort’s unbeatable location atop the mountains overlooking Lake Lucerne. Meaningful engagement with the natural world is everything. In the Bürgenstock Hotel for example, the interior design is deliberately held in check to allow the natural world to be the star. Materials are natural, textural and local – stone from the mountains for instance – achieving a sense of uninterrupted transition from the world outside to the environment indoors.
The magnificence and sheer power of the natural terrain has informed the design of the spa, which has been dramatically extended by tunnelling through the mountain and adding a cantilevered glass box that is perched on the side of the mountain above the lake, offering visitors panoramic, bird’s eye views. From the 35°C outdoor infinity hydropool – one of three pools on site – where you can gaze across to Mount Pilatus, to the treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the lake, the location takes centre stage with views that soothe the soul.
The Palace Hotel and Conferences has been reinvented as a synthesis of grand fin-de-siècle architecture and state-of-the-art interior design. It opened originally in 1903 and is a magnificent example of classical architecture. While working in line with all the principles of historic preservation, we have essentially created a new hotel. The ground floor public areas have been recreated as faithful interpretation of the original, while the function areas and guestroom levels above are contemporary in style.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
We were entrusted with the review of the original architectural master-planning for the new Bürgenstock Hotel. When we design hotels, we want them to work from the inside out. This is the only way to ensure that the narrative will be coherent and the experience compelling. After careful consideration, we came up with the solution of a smaller footprint, creating an L-shaped building that is the hotel today, that not only achieved the most amazing views from all the guestrooms and public areas, but also made space for a large outside terrace which enhanced the visual connection with The Palace Hotel next door and created an outdoor route from the Piazza through the wonderful elevated garden walk that connects The Bürgenstock Hotel with the Palace Hotel.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
For me, I would say The Bürgenstock Hotel and the Alpine Spa. All the hotel’s 102 guestrooms project the guest towards the view as soon as they open their door with a perfect flow of spaces from arrival through the lounge area to the bedroom and then on to the full height window with integrated seating. The bathrooms offer a similar flow towards the window where, in the luxury of a sunken double-size tub, guests can soak in wonder. Similarly, every step of the journey, from the entrance procession through the ethereal glowing rock face walls of the tunnel, to the breathtaking panoramas from the pool and zen-like experience of the relaxation areas, celebrates the wonder of nature and the wellbeing of both body and soul. Spas are frequently introverted but we wanted the Alpine Spa to be extraverted – or look outward – because of the magnificently calming and rejuvenating views.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
SBID is one of the most highly respected awards schemes in the interior design industry. We value the calibre of the projects entered and take pride in having our work judged by such an esteemed panel.
Questions answered by Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director at MKV Design.
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If you missed last week’s Project of the Week with London-based design & build company who transformed a Victorian building at King’s Cross Station into a remarkable, ultra-modern workspace, click here to see more.
The 2018 edition of the SBID International Design Awards is now officially open for entries! Click here to register or enter your project!
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