Lago Maggiore Retreat in Ascona, Switzerland

Lago Maggiore Retreat, Switzerland Commercial Building Complex, Swiss Architecture Images

Lago Maggiore Retreat in Switzerland

3 Aug 2020

Lago Maggiore Retreat

Design: Oppenheim Architecture

Location: Ascona, district of Locarno, canton of Ticino, southern Switzerland

Lago Maggiore Retreat

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Embedded into the hills overlooking Lago Maggiore, the design of this resort arises from the uniquely varied landscape of Ticino – a region in southern Switzerland where Alpine peaks and dense forests meet a Mediterranean climate, palm-lined lakes, and Italian-influenced cultural and architectural traditions. The design is by Oppenheim Architecture

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

The retreat – comprising 108 private residences, a 61-key boutique hotel, and spa and wellness environments – spans three sites along a hillside that rises above the lake. The design embraces the unique landscapes and ecologies of each site to ground the retreat in the spirit of its place.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

The first site augments an existing urban context. Working in collaboration with the local community, the project brings a new heart to the existing village, framed by revitalized local artisan shops offering fresh bread, salami, and local delicacies. Residents and visitors explore and inhabit the terraced landscape of gardens, squares, and piazzetta’s of the town, replenished with fountains, and mature trees.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

The second site is a reimagined botanical garden site that provides a lush, edible landscape as a backdrop to an exclusive boutique hotel and spa composed of individual ‘rustico’ villas and hillside spa. Pergolas, orchards, and cascading pools embrace the mediterranean microclimate, providing season-long comfort under the summer sun.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Finally, at 1,200 metres above the lake, a hamlet of secluded ‘rustico’ buildings are tucked into a chestnut forest. A sensitive reinterpretation of a Ticinese hilltown, this artful choreography of tightly clustered buildings and forest clearings is braced to bear the snows of winter and the days of summer.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Local craft will be combined with state-of-the-art techniques in the realization of the project. Locally quarried granite, reclaimed chestnut from retired barns and fallen trees, and stucco made with regional aggregates form the basis of the project’s material palette.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

The selection of materials is tailored to the specifics of each site. The unique climatic requirements that inform material choices create distinct visual identities that respond to the characteristics of each place.

The primary material in the hilltown is stucco. The botanical garden site uses granite, while the forest site uses reclaimed chestnut. Unique to their settings but unified by their simple geometries and restrained palettes, the architecture of three sites form a harmonious composition across the landscape.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Each of the structures is designed with a sensitivity to the exposure to sunlight while framing picturesque views over the valley, lake, and mountains. Taken together, the project establishes a varied experience that takes residents and guests through streets and piazzas to orchards, forests, vineyards, and waterfront terraces—revealing the richly layered Ticino landscape and fostering deep connections between people and the extraordinary natural ecosystem.

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Lago Maggiore Retreat, Ascona, Switzerland – Building Information

Architects: Oppenheim Architecture
Location: Ascona, Switzerland
Scope: Concept Design
Land Area : 42 sqkm
Total Built-up Area: 12,154 sqm
Project Year: 2019

Local Architect: Aldo Cacchioli Architetto

Principals in charge: Chad Oppenheim, Beat Huesler
Project Contributors: Tom McKeogh, Rasem Kamal, Esther Alcalde Giulliana Giorgi, Jourdan McKee

Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland Lago Maggiore Retreat Ascona Switzerland

Visuals: Oppenheim Architecture, Mir.

Oppenheim Architecture + Design

Lago Maggiore Retreat in Ascona, Switzerland images / information received 030820

Location: Ascona, Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland, central Europe

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