Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Six Senses Crans-Montana project is inscribed in the site as a powerful, tectonic structure. We studied the perception of the surrounding mountains, mirroring the natural environment to design a project that integrates into the landscape. The hotel accommodation and facilities are grouped together in the central 6-storey core structure which forms an elevated platform with two chalet-inspired residential buildings above. This platform provides panoramic views of the mountains from the bar, the outdoor swimming pool and lounge areas fitted out with log fires and a film projection station.
The architecture and interiors of this alpine retreat have been designed to incite relaxation and revive the senses through an enveloping and cocooning experience in which the mountain views are given primary place. The project is based on the concept of dark to light, of gradually revealing what is hidden as a sensory architectural experience inspired by the surrounding environment. Like a rock emerging from the mountainside, the hotel extends outwards, reaching up towards the light. This concept has been applied to the journey that every guest embarks on from the moment they arrive at the underground entrance modelled on a mineral grotto.
The building does not impose itself on the landscape but provides a framing of the environment through a play of perspectives and openings on to the exteriors. The interiors are based on a refined elegance using natural materials such as leather, wood and stone that reflect and dialogue with the surrounding nature. Six Senses Crans-Montana is a project balancing a strong aesthetic presence, respect for the environment and architecture that truly belongs in its site where the ‘ski-in and ski-out’ experience complements the extensive wellness spa.
For the suites, we wanted to create a sense of ‘coming in from the cold’. The idea that the space is a cabin in the woods, a space to feel warm and safe, while in direct contact with surrounding nature. The rooms are thus lined in rough timber planks and stone-coloured wall render. The windows run the full width, with vast private balconies, taking in the views onto the ski slopes, forest and valley. The natural colour tones of the room were chosen to reinforce the idea of nature. The timber walls open with sliding panels into the bathroom space, which – as if carved into the mountain- is lined in stone.
The suites we have designed expresses our idea of luxury at AW². It is understated, with every detail thought-out to create a connection to the context and environment. At the Six Senses Crans-Montana we were able to do so fully, by designing the space, the furniture, the lights and even some of the accessories.
Six senses Crans-Montana’s indoor pool was thought-out as a mountain cave pool, while the details and materials are the same as the rest of the project. The stone lined walls and floors are juxtaposed to the sculptured ceiling in wood. The reflection of the timber ceiling battens – 15,000 of them – in the water creates a play of light with the sunlight filtering through the exterior courtyard lined in birch trees. This is a space that is suspended in time, where the seasons become part of the experience with the white snows in winter and the green leaves of the trees in summer.
The spa is a major part of the project with over 2,000 square metres of space at the heart of the building. The treatment rooms, which we imagined as mountain cabins in the woods, are organised around the Alpine Garden, putting them in direct contact with nature outside. These timber-lined rooms contrast with the green of the trees outside. The wet treatment area offers a unique moment in multi sensorial experiences, all within the curved walled space. As if excavated directly into the mountain face.
5-star hotel & residences / SIX SENSES
1875 Finance, EDIFEA
Architecture by JP Emery Architects, Crans Montana and AW2 Architecture & Interiors, Paris
Interiors by AW2 Architecture & Interiors, Paris
46 suites, 17 residences, 2 restaurants, a cigar & fine liqueur lounge, 3 swimming pools, Wellness spa (2000 sqm), Earth Lab (teens’ club, Grow with Six Senses (kids’ club), Gym & flying yoga studio, Atrium alpine garden, Outdoor cinema lounge, Solarium and observation deck