Hôtel des Horlogers

Vallée de Joux / Switzerland / 2021

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62 Love 8,391 Visits Published

Inspired by the Vallée de Joux, the new Hôtel des Horlogers opens its doors in the village of Le Brassus, where its predecessor, the Hôtel de France, settled in 1857. This hotel has been designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and realised by the Swiss architecture office CCHE, two partners who also signed the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet situated a few steps away. The building’s avant-garde architecture follows the Vallée de Joux’s topography thanks to zigzagging slabs gradually descending towards the meadows. Certified Minergie-ECO®, the superior 4-star Boutique hotel has implemented a holistic sustainable approach from the building development to its day-to-day operations to reduce its environmental impact. Furthermore, the hotel’s interior design has been imagined by AUM as a tribute to the surrounding landscape, while the restaurants entrusted to Michelin- starred Chef Emmanuel Renaut rely on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Intended as a meeting point for local and international watchmaking, architecture and nature lovers, this welcoming venue encourages the development of tourism in the Vallée de Joux and promotes local expertise and heritage.


 


Imagined by the global architecture firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, the Hôtel des Horlogers seamlessly integrates with the surrounding landscape. Thanks to an avant-garde, transparent concept, visitors are immediately immersed in the natural environment of the Vallée de Joux, one of the cradles of Swiss complicated watches. Having fallen in love with the Risoud Forest, which borders the valley, Bjarke Ingels conceived the hotel so that all the rooms would offer a breath-taking view of the region. Departing from the usual codes of hotel architecture, the building consists of slabs descending towards the valley and tilting slightly to embrace the topography while creating a continuous path in nature. BIG’s concept interprets the site as a series of mountain ridges running down the hill, while the building blocks form a series of berms lined with varied trees and plants.


Inside, the simple lines and refined language of the contemporary lobby contrasts with the more sinuous and rustic architectural elements that visitors can admire
as they progress inside the building. An interior passageway follows the hotel’s atypical zigzagging structure and connects the 50 rooms, varying in type from the Valley Guest Room to the Signature Suite. The hotel also encompasses two restaurants and a bar open to all, a wellness centre as well as two seminar rooms. Imagined as a meeting point for local inhabitants, tourists in search of preserved green spaces, watch and architecture enthusiasts as well as local watchmaking brands, the Hôtel des Horlogers invites visitors to take their time and connect with nature.


This feat of architecture follows in the footsteps of the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet’s glass spiral also designed by BIG. Located a few steps away from the hotel, this ultra-contemporary pavilion was inaugurated in 2020 and awarded 9 prizes, including the Best Architecture Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on January 12, 2021.


To build and arrange the hotel’s 8,715 square-metre surface, BIG worked in collaboration with CCHE, the appointed local architect and general planner which was also involved in the construction of the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, as well as AUM, the interior design architect. Made of local materials such as stone and wood, the interior design immerses visitors in the Vallée de Joux’s natural environment, while blending quality, comfort and conviviality.
The ceiling of the lobby boasts imposing white trees giving the impression that the forest reflects on the Lac de Joux. The rooms’ décor is for its part welcoming and refined, interweaving local spruce surfaces, large bay windows and smooth concrete for a contemporary touch.


 


The Hôtel des Horlogers’ zigzagging architecture descending towards the surrounding meadows seamlessly integrates into the Vallée de Joux’s pastoral landscape. The hotel’s sustainable commitments can be seen in the careful selection of eco-friendly materials, in
the strict soil protection and in its low-energy consumption. This holistic eco-friendly approach has enabled the Hôtel des Horlogers to obtain the Minergie- ECO® certification based on its energy efficiency and building ecology.


The hotel’s hot water and heating system are supplied by the remote local wood-based heating network Le Brassus Bois SA which offers a fully local and sustainable solution, while 126 photovoltaic panels provide part of the energy needed for the establishment. Furthermore, water sourced in Le Brassus is bottled on site to drastically reduce grey energy linked to transportation, while organic waste is transformed into biomass via a Meiko Green Waste Solutions system before being converted into electricity and heat.


In addition, the hotel aims to be plastic free thanks to the implementation of numerous alternatives to the use of this component. Single-use items, for instance, are 


packaged in biodegradable containers. All cosmetics provided in the rooms are fully traceable and supplied in eco-friendly dispensers, thus reducing waste by 67 % and minimising the hotel’s environmental impact. The hotel team has also opted for hessian bags, wooden combs, fully biodegradable slippers and even pencils containing thyme seeds instead of the usual pens.


Lastly, the hotel’s two car parks, which feature 24 underground and 50 outdoor spaces, are equipped with 10 charging stations for e-cars and 10 for e-bikes. 


 

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    Inspired by the Vallée de Joux, the new Hôtel des Horlogers opens its doors in the village of Le Brassus, where its predecessor, the Hôtel de France, settled in 1857. This hotel has been designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and realised by the Swiss architecture office CCHE, two partners who also signed the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet situated a few steps away. The building’s avant-garde architecture follows the Vallée de Joux’s topography thanks to zigzagging slabs...

    Project details
    • Year 2021
    • Work finished in 2021
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Hotel/Resorts / Tourist Facilities / Interior Design
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