Alabaster at the highest peak
An ode to the surrounding nature
As a tribute to the area’s vast mountains, the chalet’s alabaster design blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior. Architects played on the whiteness of the stone to mimic the snow and symbolize the crystallization of ice and its many patterns. The Architecture 770 studio collaborated closely with the Atelier Alain Ellouz design team to tackle the difficult and numerous technical and aesthetic challenges.
As you enter the chalet, you’re left spellbound by the impressive 26-foot tall back-lit alabaster wall, a conception that reveals the stone’s ingrained patterns. Smoky swirls, spirals, clouds and imprints appear in the mass, as if a magnified snowflake was reproduced at the stone’s core.
The stateliness of the wall echoes the steep, snowy slopes. Adjacent to the stairwell, you will find that same vertical design in the elegant chandelier constructed in a composition of 17 Sumatra V80 pendant lights, one of the workshop’s iconic models. The piece is supported by gilt metal rods that highlight the chalet’s lovely pale wood. The chandelier creates an image of falling snow indoors!
Incredible technical prowess
The ultra-spacious lounge holds a fireplace mantel of mammoth proportions, measuring 22 feet in height and nearly 7 feet in width. This is exactly the type of technical feat the Atelier Alain Ellouz likes to tackle. Hours of research and unparalleled talent went into this composition to ensure an evenly diffused light, heat resistance, invisible fixtures and a successful installation of the fireplace.
The project also required a patient selection of just the right alabaster panels, which again, calls on the know-how of the teams at Atelier Alain Ellouz. Each panel is selected in the workshop according to its colors and patterns. Unlike marble panels sculpted from the same block, each alabaster panel is different, with varying fleecy softness and fractures. For this reason, designers are faced with the difficult challenge of creating continuity to the eye, a job for Marion Biais-Sauvêtre that stretches on for several days.
“The objective is to find panels that assemble well; it’s a giant puzzle. The most difficult part is selecting the alabaster. Everything else must remain invisible so that the beauty of alabaster matches the architectural design to produce the highest quality results.”
Marion Biais Sauvêtre, designer at Atelier Alain Ellouz
Compositions are seamless, revealing only the elegant stone layouts born from the assembly of 3,300 lbs. of alabaster.
Another technical feat: hang a massive 13-foot tall chandelier made with 14 alabaster spheres of 9.5 to 14 inches in diameter from a beam. A successful wager! A custom-made plate was mounted directly on the beam to support this monumental piece. The spheres, each with varying degrees of vein-like patterns, accent the cloudy alabaster character, structure the lounge’s high ceiling and pair with the fireplace mantel. Alabaster is vibrant, sets the tone in the room and catches the eye.
The beauty and originality of Rocco alabaster
Atelier Alain Ellouz rigorously selects the most beautiful alabaster pieces, using only the core of the stone for its creations. Depending on where the quarry is located and the flow of infiltrations, alabaster has differing patterns and tones. Rocco alabaster is a richly dense material. Its tobacco-colored tones become golden when back-lit. In the kitchen, the back-lit countertop’s flaming, golden light creates a warm ambiance and adds a luxurious quality to the decor.
The standing bar in the wellness area is the result of studied stone layout architectural design. The bar contrasts with the pool, injecting force into the whole design.