Montalba Architects furnishes a hotel eco-pod in the Swiss Alps

Doming Around

Known for its refined, seemingly effortless approach to luxury projects mounted across the globe, Los Angeles and Lausanne-based Montalba Architects has just completed the Zen Pod, as a new addition to the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel geodesic-dome cluster. Perched on the Dents-du-Midi mountain range, just above the Rhône Valley and south of Lake Geneva, this Swiss Alps lodging complex adheres to a strict ecological standard while still providing its clientele with top amenities. At 650 to 1250 Swiss Francs ($670 to $1287) per night, this hotel gives new meaning to the concept of glamping.

18 individual hotel suite Zen Pods immerse guests in the unique experience of the alpine landscape. (Delphine Burtin)

While other pods on the property are outfitted based on Forest, Swiss, Deluxe, Family, Cozy, and 007 themes, Montalba’s contribution presents a distinctly Japanese influence. Set on level deck platforms along the mountainside, the tent-like dome includes a view-facing bedroom, bathroom, and closet space.

Measuring 150-square feet and anchored by a 220-square foot terrace, each Zen Pod references forms from the natural world to reflect the surrounding ecosystem. (Delphine Burtin)

Wood-cladding throughout the interior also evokes the natural world outside. (Delphine Burtin)

The practice designed a prefabricated modular timber insert to delineate curvilinear rooms and built-in furnishing, embedded within the soft spheric shell. The wooden walls frame a bed area toward the front and a raised bath box toward the back. Carrying the scheme through is the abundant use of tatami mats.

The precisely detailed wooden walls curve to define internal spaces while framing breathtaking mountain views from the raised bathtub. (Delphine Burtin)

The bathroom area in each Zen Pod features a circular, prefabricated bath box that echoes its circular, semi enclosure. (Delphine Burtin)