3 Fine Examples of French Alpine Architecture, Alps Buildings in France

3 Fine Examples of French Alpine Architecture

13 Apr 2020

Sometimes the most arresting architecture projects don’t only look aesthetically impressive – their designs also incorporate innovative solutions to technical problems posed by the building’s physical placement.

A recent example of this ingenuity is the temporary cofferdam BAM built around Dundee’s V&A design museum to enable a dry dock construction on the portion of the building that juts out dramatically over the River Tay.

But some architectural projects have had to overcome challenges in much more inhospitable environments, yet the teams involved somehow managed to pull them off with aplomb.

The rugged French Alps are one natural canvas decorated with a few such dynamic installations – let’s take a closer look at three fine examples of French Alpine architecture.

  1. The Altiport, Courchevel

A superb example of visionary Alpine engineering, Courchevel’s Altiport is crucial to the resort’s success and was created in 1961 by aviation fan and former mayor Michel Ziegler.

Sitting 2007 metres high, this mountain aerodrome’s trailblazing design includes the first upslope runway and it’s kept free of snow 365 days a year.

The runway is 567 metres long, its 18.66% maximum slope gradient is the world’s highest and it services 6,000 helicopter and light aircraft each season – impressive stats indeed.

  1. Mountain House, Manigod

For a modern spin on a classic Alpine residential design, look no further than the Mountain House by Studio Razavi.

Built in Manigod between 2014-16 for a private client, this 200 square metre masterpiece deploys a layered design for the various floors. From the basement upwards, a gradual progression proceeds from darker, more utilitarian spaces, to airier, more ambient personal rooms – with the uppermost levels cleverly combining expansive views of the valley below with elegant intimate touches.

  1. Refuge du Gouter, Mont Blanc

Perched 3835 metres high at Aiguille du Gouter on the approach to the peak of Mont Blanc, Refuge du Gouter is a pristine metallic pod which provides a comfortable stopover sanctuary for serious mountaineers on their way to the summit.

The four level building can comfortably house 120 guests and includes an infirmary, dormitories, wet rooms, wash rooms and a communal living area with panoramic views.

Winds can exceed 300 mph on this ridge, so its foundations are secured steadfastly by 69 pilings anchored in bedrock at depths of up to 12 metres.

Getting there

If you’d like to see some of these spectacular structures for yourself later this year or perhaps early next, ski specialists NUCO travel can arrange the perfect package deal in resorts across the region.

Meanwhile, keep a keen eye on Skyscanner for the most reasonable flights and check the ski travel sections of papers like the Guardian for the latest industry updates.

Hopefully these excellent examples of French Alpine architecture exemplify what can be achieve when talented professionals set their minds to taming nature’s excesses and inspire you to incorporate innovative elements in your own project.

Comments on this guide to 3 Fine Examples of French Alpine Architecture article are welcome.

Location: Haute-Savoie, France

New Buildings in France

French Architectural Projects

French Architecture Design – chronological list

Chalet Dag, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France
Design: Chevallier Architectes
Chalet Dag
photograph : Alexandre Mermillod Onixstudio.com
Chalet Dag in Chamonix – French Alps Property

Espace Killy Chalet Husky, Val d’Isere, Espace Killy mountain range, French Alps
Design: Jean-Charles Covarel
Chalet Husky 2
photograph © Athena Advisors
Chalet Husky, Val d’Isere – French Alps Accommodation

Refuge du Goûter, Saint Gervais Les Bains, France
Design: Déca-Laage + Groupe-H
Refuge du Goûter France
photo : Gudrun Bergdahl
Refuge du Goûter

French Building News

French Architecture

Another spectacular Alps Building on e-architect:

“Hut of the Future”
Design: ETH Zurich and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC)
New Monte Rosa Hut
photo : ETH-Studio Monte Rosa/Tonatiuh Ambrosetti
Neue Monte Rosa Hut

French Architect

French Buildings

Comments / photos for the 3 Fine Examples of French Alpine Architecture page welcome