Philippe Starck has designed a habitation that is minimal yet not minimalist, based on a quest to reveal the structural soul and raw poetry of the place so as to give free rein to light maximizing its architectural volumes. The hotel’s fabled facade, its blue and white striped blinds protecting elaborate balconies, lion heads and other historical sculptures, are preserved as witnesses to the smart and elegant holiday spirit of the early 20th century.
In an almost archaeological approach, the bricks of the walls, marble of the basements, solid wood floors and concrete details have been exhumed from beneath successive layers of plaster, tapestries or wallpaper. These newly revealed elements and raw materials infuse the place with a spirit of timeless modernity.
La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich is a fascinatingly structured place exuding the elegance of the bare minimum, in which a number of artistic surprises along with sophisticated, well-sized objects are subtly exhibited: clever blown-glass lighting, sculptural brushed stainless steel door handles, light marble cladding, flattering mirrors and fine glass walls.
Once the structure had been recaptured, the place was adorned with a surreal new dimension, becoming fertile ground for a mind game imagining and reinventing the history of the building. Philippe Starck has dreamt up a lakeside Yacht Club on the lake.
An imaginary club, yet clearly present in the wealth of sentimental objects evoking the nautical universe: red wood reminiscent of boat hulls; photographs and paintings of sailboats and captains like a gallery of family portraits scattered throughout the hotel: bronze Venetian gondola forcolas (oar rests);a collection of “whole half-shells” frozen in resin; oars artfully placed here and there as if forgotten after a regatta; not to mention light wood floors with wide planks giving rise to the urge to walk barefoot before dashing off for a swim.