About this time last year, I was lucky enough to make a wonderful trip to Vals in Switzerland. It came as a recommendation from a wonderful friend (who is always spot on with top tips!) who has introduced me to many wonderful architects.
The hotel there, Therme Vals was designed by Peter Zumthor, who is widely hailed and respected in architecture circles. It has also just been announced that Zumthor has been the chosen architect for the 2011 Serpentine Pavillion which I am sure will be a wonderful treat for us all.
The experience of Vals is hard to document, but the small details of the trip, such as the winding, old train track that takes you into the narrow valley and the jaw dropping scenery along the way, make the experience so memorable- so much so that we have just booked another 4 nights there in January.
Whilst I imagine it would be amazing to visit at other types of the year, during Winter it felt magical, with the incredible view from the hotel balcony onto the snow covered mountain opposite.
A particular highlight for me was stumbling across a lovely shed that was housing a lovely group of sheep and lambs, who happily bleated at us whilst I took some photos of their sweet faces.
The local stone has been specifically used in the construction of the Therme hotel and it is aspects like this connection to what is local and at hand that make the design so beautiful.
As we weren’t allowed to take photos in the spa itself, I tried to capture parts of the hotel that show some of the spirit of the design.