Courchevel, a ski resort in Tarentaise Valley (Savoie), is also an ideal place to practice this quintessential winter sport in a spot in the French Alps where you can enjoy all the fine qualities of water.
In the tiered countryside of a typically Alpine nature, the Aquamotion Aquatic Center has occupied a platform with stunning views over the valley and mountain panorama since 2015, when it was established as an architectural showpiece that with every gesture sought integration with the landscape.
The big challenge for the architects from German studio Auer Weber, with French outfit Studio Arch as the associate team, was to deliver two well-differentiated areas in terms of functionality under a single roof. The areas had to also be separated into two floors. On the one hand, they were to design a leisure zone and on the other a relaxation and rest area. It all had to be housed under one large continuous element that would deliver a fluid use of the facilities and capture the beauty of the surroundings. While the facilities are located half-underground, the large vault appears as a giant shell that emerges from the land and protects the interior. This continuous element, measuring 80 metres wide and 120 metres long, also reflects the light inside and into all the corners. The architects also designed an intermittent series of shells to insert in the vault and provide new views from inside.
The dome soars at some points to up to 17 metres, making this project a major exercise in structural balance which was possible with the partnership with of team Bollinger + Grohmann. The building becomes a large sculpture of spaces and light. This overhang gesture allows the building to open up and communicate with the Alpine setting while trapping an enormous amount of natural light thanks to the glassed-in facades that enclose the interior space. It is a breath-taking experience to enjoy the water in this aquatic centre with a green blanket around you in summer which turns white in winter.
The indoor facilities include 30 and 100-metre waterslides, a diving pool, a lake, an indoor pool and an outdoor facility. A children’s pool with a colourful seashell greets kids in the heart of the complex. Various complementary services complete this aquatic paradise: a dark cavern with a saltwater pool, a massage centre with a variety of treatments and a space that opens onto the saunas and Turkish baths, as well as a cold-water outdoor pool.
Each corner with a unique and specific design. An underground connection from the aquatic centre to the car park affords maximum guest comfort.
Photos: © Aldo Amoretti, Barcelona, Spain www.aldoamoretti.com