original publication material - courtesy of Foster + Partners
Dolder Grand HotelEdit profile
Towering above Lake Zurich, the historic The Dolder Grand has been reinvented to form a
luxury-class city resort. The scheme integrates a substantial new extension, more than
doubling the hotel accommodation and reconnecting it to the surrounding forest and
resort. Remarkably, although it provides double the floor space, the new building consumes
half the energy of the old – or 75 per cent less energy per square metre. The Dolderbahn
cog railway station has been reinstated, enabling the local community to enjoy the site
while experiencing something of the building itself.
The scheme restores the logic of the original hotel, designed in 1899 by Jacques Gros,
and the external fabric has been restored and rendered in the original red and ochre
palette. Internally, the planning has been transformed. The most significant moves have
been to create a linked suite of grand public rooms, including a new ballroom, and to
reinstate the grand southern entrance so that arriving guests now enjoy breathtaking views
across Zurich and the Alps. Two new wings frame the historic Dolder, complementing the
addition of a spa and a new ballroom.
The new wings are fully glazed; and stencil-cut aluminium screens line the facades to form
balustrades and provide shading, their tree pattern resonating with the surrounding forest.
While the geometry of the new elements is fluid and organic, the colour palette echoes
that of the existing building to harmonise the overall composition. A highlight of the hotel is
the new 4,000-square-metre spa. The winding stone walls that begin in the landscape
continue inside to frame a canyon-like space for the pool. In some areas the walls are
perforated to allow sunlight to filter in, and provide a dynamic play of light and shadow
while maintaining absolute privacy. Geothermal heat pumps beneath the spa contribute to
the efficient energy strategy. This is further enhanced by a high-performance envelope
comprising insulated triple-glazing and natural shading.
description by architects
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