International architects and designers Michael Graves & Associates (MGA) announce a new resort project, 51° Spa Residences, at the heart of Loèche-les-Bains (known as Leukerbad in Swiss-German) in the canton of Valais in southern Switzerland, the site of thermal baths since Roman times. The resort is named 51° after the thermal water, which naturally emerges from the ground at 51° Celsius. In addition to multiple luxury residences, the project will include a thermal-water spa, and a signature restaurant and club to be operated by Ginza. The second phase of the resort will include a 5-star spa hotel that is also being designed by MGA.
More than 1400 m above sea level, 51° Spa Residences broke ground Fall 2011, and by its completion in 2013, will be the ultimate 5-star destination. The first phase of the development includes two linked buildings containing 30 luxury apartments: 10 for sale and 20 to be serviced by the adjacent hotel. Key features of the residences include individual in-room spas, and wrap-around terraces with pools filled with the local thermal water. Grand stone fireplaces can be found within the residences and in the public spaces, both inside and outside. Working in association with internationally renowned spa consultant Under a Tree, MGA is also designing the luxurious spa that will offer a unique banya experience along with more traditional Alpine pools. Other key features of the Residences include a private wine cave, private concierge and upscale retail outlets.
“This particular project,” says MGA Studio Head Gary Lapera, AIA, lead architect of the project, “sits at the very epicenter of the town, so it becomes the heart of the community. It completes the sequence of travel from the old city, wonderfully knitting the newer section into the experience of the place.”
The site for this new thermal spa and resort is located mid-distance between the centuries-old historic village at the top of the slope, and the part of the town developed during the 60s and 70s directly below. The property is next to a local landmark, once the town’s train station. In particular, the 51° Spa Residences aim to celebrate the unique and wonderful aspects of Leukerbad: Using local stone, and lumber characteristic of the region, the resort will nestle into its location, uniquely suited for the surrounding natural and built environment.
Swiss Development Group will bring the project to fruition, and aspires to generate a one of a kind living environment in the Swiss Alps, perfectly suited for each season of the year. With all of its features and services, this highly exclusive resort will embody an elevated standard in luxury living. Following the irregular contours of the sloping property, the interconnected 5-story wings of the residential buildings are planned in a way that allows spectacular views of the Alps from each residence and its private thermal pool situated on an outdoor terrace.