As an avid skier, my dream vacations always involve the Swiss Alps and while ski resorts are amazing, I prefer smaller accommodations like the Whitepod Eco-Luxury hotel – more cozy and intimate for the winters! Whitepod has a range of geodesic pods to choose from and they all come with panoramic views of the Rhône Valley. One of the most interesting pods is the Zen Suite which is designed by Montalba Architects.
The minimalist yet luxurious pod is nestled in the Dents-du-Midi mountain range of Switzerland and has been inspired by Japanese design and elements. The dome is created using a combination of natural materials and sustainable construction keeping it aligned with the hotel’s goal of maintaining spiritual harmony with the delicate alpine ecosystem. To minimize environmental impact, architects raised the pods on platforms and left the surroundings mostly untouched. The eco-pods are perched on an elevated, stadium-style deck giving guests private and unobstructed views of the stunning landscape from almost every angle.
The Zen Suite’s central circle is enclosed in curved wooden walls and Japanese-inspired accents like tatami floor mats. The pod itself measures 150 square feet with an additional 220 square feet provided by the connected terrace. The eco-pods, bath box and the platforms are all prefabricated. Imagine waking up and seeing sweeping views of the mountains from your bed! Then you proceed to the wooden spa-like bathroom which has been locally made to minimize waste and transportation. The bathroom features an Ozone system that filters water without the use of harmful chemicals. And to finish up your luxury experience there is a beautiful circular bathtub that also allows you to continue taking in the breathtaking views while washing the tiredness away.
“The zen concept found throughout the design is inspired by the Wu Xing philosophy, which states that all things are connected and made up of energy,” says the team. The five elements of the philosophy are represented through the earth, water, wood, metal, and fire which are all found in many thoughtfully designed details in the Zen Suite. These eco domes are truly the architectural embodiment of the calm you experience after self-reflection.
Designer: Montalba Architects