White Marmot Restaurant & Bar - st. Moritz, Switzerland
|Architect||atelier zürich gmbh|
In the clouds. White Marmot beckons with gastronomy, design and stunning views.
The renown Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz entices visitors with spectacular natural surroundings, excellent ski slopes and exquisite services including fine dining. These delightful experiences come together at the summit station of Corviglia, home of the White Marmot Restaurant & Bar.
“Perhaps the greatest challenge in the renovation of the restaurant was the requirement to retain the building’s striking yellow façade, which frames the diners’ mountain views,” explained Maria Bächinger from the interior architecture studio Atelier Zürich, which was responsible for the recent renovation project. “The building was constructed in 1967, and so we took inspiration from the sixties for the interior colour scheme, with the view to create a cosy and warm atmosphere,” she continued. The restaurant and bar areas are designed to welcome two distinct client groups: those who travel to the summit specifically in search of a gastronomic experience and those who stop there to have a meal while skiing. “For this reason we used carpet flooring to absorb water and minimise slippage.”
One of the key existing features the studio had to address were the massive windows offering stunning views of the Alps. “People naturally like to sit by the windows, but with the previous light-coloured furnishings diners had to wear sunglasses when the sun was shining,” explained Maria Bächinger. The designers decided to surround the windows with dark coloured tables and TON’s Alba armchairs in dark green upholstery, which fit the interior beautifully, not just in design but also in comfort. The centre of the restaurant is lit up by a U-shaped bar made from glazed lava stone washed in pale pink, which the designers intentionally placed in the hub of activity. “It’s dominated by an oversized statue of a marmot, the Alpine squirrel that gave the restaurant its name,” added Bächinger. Sheepskins in a variety of colours add to the restaurant’s cosy atmosphere.
The restaurant offers seating for 170 diners, not including the bar and lounge seating areas. “Given the high elevation of the mountaintop location, many of the materials for the restaurant had to be delivered by helicopter,” added Maria Bächinger as a bit of interesting trivia. The Alba armchairs designed by Alexander Gufler, which received the Red Dot award this April, did not receive this extravagant honour – they travelled up by the humble cable car.