Alps Wellness Retreat design competition by Switch, Architecture Contest 2021

Alps Wellness Retreat Design Competition by Switch

26 Apr 2021

Alps Wellness Retreat design contest Winners

Alps Wellness Retreat Architecture Competition Winners News

1st Winner – Peran Guillaume, Camille Desplanques (France)
Alps Wellness Retreat design contest Winner 1st prize

2nd Winner – Matthew Cox (United States)
Alps Wellness Retreat design contest Winners 2nd prize

3rd Winner – Stefani Fariawati Hasan, Muhammad Agus Ali Ridho, Gregorio Eben Heizer (Indonesia)
Alps Wellness Retreat design contest 3rd prize

Honorable Mentions:

Jakub Wichtowski, Jan Zieliński (Poland)

Li Han, Siyi Pan, Jingxiao Ma (China)

António Rebelo, Bruno Graça, Luís Martins (Portugal)

An Heesung, Park Minjoo (South Korea)

Nora Ravanidou (Switzerland)

Ole Flatebø, William Horstad (Norway)

Xianglei Ding, Haoran Ma, Siwei Xu (China)

Marta Adamik, Patrycja Raszka (Netherlands)

Tony Li, Jocelin Chan (United Kingdom)

Arup Tiwari, Poornima Verma, Sarthak Wadhwa (India)

Alps Wellness Retreat Architecture Competition


Well-being is the achievement of a process, a physical and psychological state of quietness that the user is seeking in an environment ever so less predisposed to support it. When designing a space dedicated to well-being, the architecture looks to accompany the user in his search by offering an experience both disconnected from time and from day-to-day life.

The project embodies the well-being process by proposing a unique promenade based on the fragmentation of a traditional sauna experience. Originally composed of three back and forth between dry heat and cold water immersion followed by a rest time, the wellness ritual of the sauna is reinterpreted here with a loop composed of successive steps.

The project is formed as a concrete ring embedded in the landscape, bringing together topography and architecture. Partly sunk into the ground and partly floating above the lake, the massing is characterized by a balance of strength and fragility, not unlike the surrounding alpine landscape.
The well being promenade around this inward looking ring transit from a desk mineral space towards a space of air and light. The inside is entirely made of raw concrete naturally lit, enforcing contrast between warm and cold spaces.

The project and its architecture are offering a full sensorial experience. Plays of light and shadow amuse the eyes, materials are carefully chosen for their tactile and scented qualities, and the sound of water running by provides a calming backdrop. The user is fully immersed in a singular experience stimulating both body and mind.

Nowadays, places offering a wellness experience can sometimes be pricey, or reserved for a selected few. The project core value is to offer everyone the opportunity of a well-being experience. Its use is available to anyone, at anytime, in perfect autonomy: not unlike public saunas in Norway where a simple subscription with the municipality allows unrestricted access. The wellness ritual is composed of successive spaces and functions forming a single experience. The user progresses from the entrance to the exit without doubling back. This provides privacy to each users as they are less likely to cross path, allowing everyone to be fully immersed in the experience. The simplicity of the space sequence and intuitive path allows all to progress in autonomy.

5 Jan 2021

Alps Wellness Retreat design contest by Switch

Alps Wellness Retreat Architecture Competition News

The fast pace of 21st century has led to a very distorted work-leisure balance among urban settlers. This has caused numerous lifestyle-related mental and physical issues like stress, depression and other chronic ailments.

This has shifted the focus on wellness and its importance in leading a happy and fulfilling life. We are getting aware and more conscious of the fact that wellness is more than the absence of disease and is a careful holistic balance of the mind, body and spirit. The dialogue has been initiated and we can see an upsurge in the wellness tourism sector, as people demand for a more accessible and wholesome experience.

Alps Wellness Retreat design competition

Designing for health and wellness is inherent to architecture. Great architecture is rooted in real world outcomes that foster healthier spaces and environments. The aim of the competition is to design a wellness retreat in the picturesque setting of Alps that can incorporate different aspects of wellness under a single roof and create a therapeutic and immersive experience for the user through architecture.

Architecture constantly evolves to meet the needs of society and part of its social role is to assist the well-being of those who transit and use their spaces daily. Architecture for Wellness is a niche responsible for the development of captivating architectural experiences that can facilitate and support the search and the achievement of the psychophysical wellness.

Architecture can have a deep healing effect on a person if it can stimulate the human senses. The Wellness Retreat should be resonant with an elemental materiality and a deep sensual pleasure that can be a very good medium for instilling emotions, i.e. the aura of space should bring a positive change in a person’s perception and mood while using the space. The Wellness retreat should enhance the olfactory, tactile and visual experiences of the visitors.

The participants should integrate nature with the Wellness hub in a meaningful manner. The transition between the natural-artificial, interior-exterior should be fluid and seamless to the extent that it becomes one continuous envelope.

The combinations of light and shade, open and enclosed spaces should create sensuous and restorative experience. The built form should not just be created with beautiful materiality and facia but resonant with atavistic memories of weight, contiguity and enclosure, of sound and enticing illumination.

The Wellness retreat should have a ‘music-like’ rhythmic quality to it. It should help people unwind in solitude and slow down. The retreat should indulge in various spiritual, physical and psychological activities.

The participants are free to impart any function they feel are needed inside the retreat. All generic functions like rooms/cabins for stay, meditation and yoga halls, spa, heated pools/baths, sauna, massage rooms, gym, restaurant, healing rooms etc. should be provided for an all-in-all experience under a single roof.


Prizes worth EUR 2500 are up for claim with the distribution as follows:


Apart from the winners, the jury will select ’10 Editors’ Choices’ who will be featured on our website and several other international magazines and websites across the world. The winners and Editors’ Choices will be provided with an honorary certificate.


The competition is open to everyone in the world (architects, students, engineers etc.). You can participate individually or in a team. A team can have a maximum of three members only.
• For Indian nationals: 1800 INR + Taxes (per team)

Standard registration: – 1st January 2021 – 28th February 2021
• For foreign nationals: 60 EUR + Taxes (per team)

Late registration: – 1st March 2021 – 30th March 2021
• For foreign nationals: 80 EUR + Taxes (per team)
• For Indian nationals: 2100 INR + Taxes (per team)

Submission deadline: 31st March 2021

Result: 25th – 28th April 2021


Group discounts apply for a minimum of 5 teams from one particular architecture school/university as our initiative to promote more participation from students. Send us the following details at [email protected] to avail the offer.



Alps Wellness Retreat design competition by Switch information / images received 050121

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