Breitenbach Landscape Hotel is located perched on the heights of the Alsatian village of Breitenbach, a unique hamlet situated between the Vosges and Alsace, with a very dynamic community that is politically committed to an eco-responsible approach, through various activities such as an ecological brewery, beehives, dairy and cheese production to name a few. The hotel proposes itself as a holistic ecotourism experience, inspired by Scandinavian traditions and well-being, a concept expressed in the word “hytte”.
The project is the result of the meeting of two cultures, French and Scandinavian, proposed by the client Emil Loeroy and the architect Reiulf Ramstad, both attracted by design and natural materials, with the common objective of creating a place to live in, welcoming people and taking them on a journey through nature and the harmony of the landscape.
Among the trees, natural hedges and wild grasses, heirs to the Norwegian “hytte”, 14 cabins dot the hillside like boulders on a slope, balancing privacy and perspective. Small, light, discreet, they are built on stilts and can also be dismantled, so that the landscape remains preserved and natural, intact. Untreated, locally sourced chestnut (cut down on the hill opposite the hotel) covers all the volumes, combined with large glass openings.
Four distinct types make up a family of shapes with different qualities. The ‘Grass’ hytte, on a more accessible level, are grouped near the main building. The ‘Tree’ and ‘Ivy’, towering and slender, combine verticality and panoramic views. Finally, the ‘Fjell’, at the top of the hill, welcomes guests with sheltered outdoor spaces. The interiors of the structures are minimal and rustic, in light wood, with cosy built-in furniture, characterised by framed views and spatial contrasts, perfectly embodying the Nordic concept of ‘hygge’.
On reaching the site, one encounters the main building dedicated to welcoming guests, catering and wellness. Its volume is wrapped in Alsatian chestnut shingles moulded in a workshop in Saverne. Meeting the Passivhaus construction label, this intimate environment clads in dark-stained, finely worked wood opens wide to the landscape and offers a unique place to meet, exchange and contemplate.
Space, privacy, calm, sobriety, nature and fresh air are a new luxury; guests are able to find another essence of beauty and comfort in the changing colours of the season, light and shade, the very essence of nature’s qualities.