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Frutt Family Lodge & Melchsee Apartments

The compound is situated just beside a lake, high up in the swiss mountains at an altitude of about 1900 meters above the sea. The small village of Melchsee-Frutt is the top station of a skiing area, in winter only accessible by a small cable car . The crystalline building cubes mark the edge between village and lake. Hotel and apartments face the rough landscape scenery and seem to become a part of it: four monumental rocks floating on a crystalline basement, just like mountains up on a mirroring lake. Recalling Bruno Taut’s expressionistic „Alpine Architektur“ from the 1920s, the buildings are a optimistic statement of how architecture and nature can become a „fantastic“ whole.
The guest approaches the building from north, entering a welcoming courtyard. From this perspective, the four building volumes and their basement rim become sort of a crown, embracing the guest. From here on, the building does, what architecture is doing since millennia: protecting man against a wild and unexpectable nature –and from that save harbour, opening up ever new perspectives on that wild „outside“.
In this sense, the glassy basement’s entry area, restaurant, bar and lounge are a „lodge“ at its best: offering all the commodities of a wooden, chalet like interior, they open up fantastic views on lake and mountains at the same time. Wherever interior and exterior meets, natural light is flooding the rooms. While reception, bar and lounge recall the free flowing shape and space of the exterior, the restaurant is boxing the space for the sake of commodity. In the evening hours, the lounge’s great fireplace is becoming the warm hart of the hotel – and the building basement itself becomes a warm glowing torch in the dark lonesome mountain wilderness.
When the sun is gone, or on foggy and windy days, the SPA offers a different experience. Situated in the lower basement, it seems to be a strange and yet familiar world on its own. While the other public spaces have a more typical wooden chalet like interior, the wellness area recalls a natural experience: just like the outside shape of the building, the SPA’s interior seems to be a geometric interpretation of mountain caves. In fact, Melchsee-Frutt’s underworld embodies a gigantic cave system. Comparably, the SPA is a system of polygonal chambers, connected by short and narrow corridors. Starting with the intimate changing rooms, and varying on scale and light in the wooden sauna chambers, the space system finds it’s culminating in the cold bath: after a series of small, more dark rooms, the bath surprises with its large artificial top light, flooding the spacious „cave“ with a day bright light. Appendix of this experience is the hot bath and relaxing room, both opening panoramic views on the outer natural landscape.
The up-floor hotel rooms are adept on family needs. The two-room family suites combine the commodity of a suite with a variety of sleeping possibilities for up to five people. Bay windows extend the rooms towards the outside and again open views on the landscape. Here, in the intimacy of the private rooms, the dualism of architecture and nature finds its peak: standing at the window, just wearing your pyjama, watching the sunrise over the snowy mountains. Civilization and wilderness, just divided by three thin layers of glass.
Philip Loskant Architect designed the building from the first sketch. It was a direct commission from the land owner. for the later execution phase, the local office Architekturwerk AG was called in, while my office still had the design lead. the interior design for restaurant area and hotel rooms have been done in cooperation with  Mathias Buser, interior designer from Zurich. The wellness area is fully designed by my office.
We all cooperatated as a team. The client is Frutt Resort AG which allready has build the Hotel Frutt Lodge & Spa in Melchsee, and therefore strived for a second hotel, the Frutt Family Lodge, to strengthen their standing as a resort. The client’s brief was to build a four star family hotel which, from the exterior, fits and responds to the wild mountain surounding, but in the interior offers a maximum of commodity. The compound also consists of about 43 private owned apartments, which, in design, merge with the hotel, so it becomes one whole.

Compound is situated just beside a wonderfull lake, high up in the swiss mountains at an altitude of about 1900 meters above the sea. The small village of Melchsee-Frutt is very close to the most important tourist spots but very remote at the same time: its about 2o km south of the famous city Luzern and about 80 km away from Zurich Airport.
The Village also is the top station of the skiing area Melchsee-Frutt. In Summer you can drive up a small street but in winter its only accessible by a small cable car . The hotel building marks the edge between village and lake.
Rooms and Infrastructure:
4 star, 47 rooms (35 – 70 m2): 2 Suits, 10 Family Suits, 35 double rooms
Restaurant, Bar, Wellness, Fitness, Cinema, Mini-Bowling, Kindergarden (child care)
43 private apartments 53 m2 – 106 m2
The Frutt Family Lodge is a family friendly hotel with family suites fitting perfectly for the needs of a family (up to five beds),. the service is family friendly and there are leasure areas for kids such as Wellness, Fitness, Cinema, Mini-Bowling, Kindergarden (child care)

The building is a concrete structure with wooden roof structures. the facade is devided into three parts: the upper main volumes are treated with a traditional plaster which was glazed in two layers, so textures and colours have a very differentiated, rich appearance. the ground floor base is constructed with glass-frame-elements to maximize view and transmission of light. In order to make it look heavey and natural, the lower basement is cladded with natural stone elements.
the interior mostly has a warm wood finish, just like in traditional mountain architecture. in order to make it more elegant and robust, we choose a swiss oak wood which was brushed to make the texture more visible.
For the wellness area’s cave like atmosphere, it was important to have a fine dakr natural stone. we therefore choos gneiss stone which is quarried in the southern swiss onsernone valley. for the sauna area, again we choose a warm and cozy, brushed oak wood.
Main products:
Sanitary fixtures: HansGrohe, Axor, Germany
Sanitary ceramics: Alape, Italy and Laufen, Switzerland
Bath tiles: Gigacer, Italy
Stone floorings: Emilio Stecher, Switzerland
Carpets: Tisca Tiara, Switzerland
Door handles: fsb, Germany
Project Info:

Melchsee-Frutt, Obwalden, Switzerland, Completed 2015
Adress: Frutt Family Lodge, Untere Frutt, 6068 Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland
Client: Frutt Resort AG, Melchsee-Frutt
Project team:
Architect Design: Philip Loskant Architekt Eth | Sia, Zurich
Interior: Matthias Buser, Innenarchitekt, Zurich
Execution: Architekturwerk AG, Sarnen
Foto credits: Ulrich Stockhaus, Zürich (www.ulrichstockhaus.ch)


Image Office Building Kirk Hus With its mostly serial, yet situational facade, the «Kirk Hus»…
by Philip Loskant Architekt
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Philip Loskant Architekt

About Project

Frutt Family Lodge & Melchsee Apartments located in Melchsee-Frutt, Obwalden, Switzerland by Philip Loskant Architekt.


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