the real hotel
nyon, switzerland
type of commission
8m usd
four stars hotel (30 rooms)
project team
manuel der hagopian, daniel zamarbide
project date
2000 - 2004

How does one integrate contemporary architecture into an historical site, with corresponding prescriptive and regulatory constraints? The project for this hotel evolved from such a debate, and it attempts to present an image that reflects the problems with which every architect working in such a context is confronted.

The building casts in a new light traditional and stereotypical elements of the area in which it is located, thereby opening up several layers of architectural interpretation. At first glance, the building projects an image of stability and regional classicism. When studied in parts, this general impression gradually gives way to a less definitive and apprehensible effect.

The composition of the fa├žades is determined by the size of the windows and the sliding shutters. The large size of the shutters, as well as the general interplay of the windows and shutters, distorts the traditional perception of how these two elements interact and allows the creation of new figures according to their use.

Similarly, the base of the building which houses the restaurant very literally recalls the former embankment wall that existed along the lakeside. This reference is underlined by the use of stone (Brazilian slate) perforated with thousands of holes. Such a wall not only reduces the amount of light entering the restaurant (southern exposure), but also solves the issue of proximity to the neighboring street.

At night, the building fully reveals the aspects of perceptual and spatial distortion, projecting the interior towards the exterior.