Wattens / Austria / 2004 (Project)
Hotel adjacent to Crystal World in Austria
Client: Swarovski Wattens
Net Area: 9000 m2
The alpine scenery, the crystal context, the landscaped Giant within Crystal World and Swarovski’s aspirations supplementing the developers brief for a 4 star hotel, all led to the initial notional ideas which in turn implied further decisions in the process of the development – namely: select the orientation of the rooms so they frame-edit the alpine views, give all rooms the same orientation placing all rooms on the same side of the corridor. This one-sidedness implies a narrow, wide and tall building a fl at ‘Screen’. This Screen is made exclusively of the bedrooms, the rest of the hotel’s functions are accommodated in the subterranean space of the soft landscaped mound below.
The rooms are glazed in mirrored glass in a faceted crystal formation. Each crystal reflects, in equal measures with hard edged divisions, the sky, the Alps, the village, the factory and the fields. The Screen perches on the very edge of the mound, separated from it, leaning and curving westwards, overhanging the entrance to the Hotel lobby below. 7 stories high and with 11 rooms per storey the Screen accommodate a total of 77 rooms. The room divisions are stacked vertically in-line with the radial grid, forming the vertical structural members at approximate 5m intervals. Of the 11 rooms per floor 9 are standard rooms with 1 Junior-Suite and 1 Suite at the southern tip. On the top level the Junior-suite and Suite merge to create one Larger Executive Suite. All of the exterior elements of the building have a direct implication on the hotel’s interior life. Each room has a crystal section of the façade, through which the glorious landscape can be viewed. The concrete structure forms an angular shallow ‘indoor balcony’ to each room. The eastern façade is double layered. The stepped inner layer forms the building envelope constructed from insulated reinforced concrete. The outer steel mesh layer is stretched over the parapets forming a smoothed sloped eastern façade over which hardy climbers will grow. The stepping creates walkways on which planters for the foliage are located and providing a servicing route for the plants. The glazed perforations of the east facade, forms the outer wall of the bedroom corridor, allowing light to filter in through the framed foliage of the vertical garden.