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Grace La Margna St. Moritz into a restoration and extension project by Divercity Architects

Grace La Margna St. Moritz

Grace La Margna St. Moritz celebrates the memory and legacy of renowned Swiss architect and designer of the original landmark in 1906, Nicolaus Hartmann. The property has seamlessly woven the contemporary and sophisticated desires of the 21st-century guest visiting a luxury alpine resort.

Considered the flagship of Engadine Art Nouveau architecture, Grace La Margna St. Moritz is a newly renovated gem for design and architecture enthusiasts, located in the glamorous and cosmopolitan alpine town of St Moritz, Switzerland. The iconic five-star hotel reopened in August 2023 after a comprehensive restoration and extension project undertaken by multi-award-winning studio Divercity Architects in conjunction with French interior designer, Carole Topin.

Originally designed in 1906 by Swiss architect, Nicolaus Hartmann, the landmark building was constructed near St Moritz station, located on the UNESCO World Heritage railway line boasting picturesque glacier and valley views. Grace La Margna St. Moritz is a sophisticated blend of old and new influences derived from the restoration of the original landmark building, La Margna Wing, and the construction of a brand-new building, the Grace Wing. The dynamic design duo created a striking synergy between the two buildings, developing a language between both wings, where the façade of the new wing, clad in beige moleanos limestone, follows the visual playfulness of the windows’ grid on the original façade.

The landmark is charged with a tremendous architectural and emotional value for the local community of St Moritz,” comments Nikolas Travasaros, Founder of Divercity Architects. “Although deeply rooted in the context of the region, we wanted to offer a different reading and break away from the classic alpine stereotypes. Keeping typical components of alpine resorts, we quickly decided to introduce some catalyst moments to spark an element of surprise and add to the timeless and elegant feel of the hotel. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, it’s a conversation through time and space.”

Grace La Margna St. Moritz

For their initial welcome guests are greeted by the sculptural reception desk, a monolith granite block layered with a brass countertop enhanced by a backdrop of beautiful boiserie detailing which pays homage to the impressive mountain landscape. As guests move through to the communal Living Room, heritage-protected windows perfectly frame the breathtaking Lake St Moritz. This aquatically-colour-themed room was built around an original marble fireplace, complementing the cerulean Pierre Frey carpet which references the buildings Art Nouveau character, dramatic iron chandeliers, and original arches and vaults restored to their former glory.

Moving through to the N/5 – The Bar, the vast stone bar is the St Moritz blueprint for a global lifestyle with community and refinement at its core. Its elegant design – a seven-metre, Carrara marble stone weighing a whopping eight tonnes – defines a modern interpretation of luxury in St Moritz, making N/5 – The Bar the beating pulse of the hotel. With a stage for live performances, Molteni&C bespoke furniture, and bar stools boasting a smooth velvet finish, N/5 – The Bar expertly embodies Swiss heritage with state-of-the-art contemporary living.

The warmth of St Moritz’s blazing sun is embedded in the new all-day dining restaurant, The View, constructed in a circular shape with floor-to-ceiling windows. The light earth and green hues of the JAB ANSTOETZ carpet, the soft chocolate notes of the wooden floor, and the sculptured wooden ceiling depicting rays of the sun feel as though Grace La Margna St. Moritz has brought the beautiful landscape indoors.

A tribute to the Engadine Valley and a clear indication that every design decision has been heavily influenced by the surrounding landscape, the Living Room’s blue tones pay homage to the renowned Lake St Moritz, N/5 – The Bar’s grey and silver colour scheme gives a nod to the majestic mountains, whilst the green of The View encapsulates the pine forest surrounding the property.

Grace La Margna St. Moritz

Restoring this hotel has been all about the people and guest experience,” enthuses Carole Topin, Interior Designer. We have kept the existing hotel style, combined with an underpinning of modern luxury while still capturing the essence of the place, which can be seen in the selection of materials, furniture, detailing, and bespoke items that have been designed for the hotel.

For an authentic experience of a traditional alpine brasserie, The Stack embraces the delicious nature of the local gastronomy scene with large windows, an Art Nouveau ceiling, red furnishings, and original dark wood panelling. The granite-flamed surfaces enhance the moodier feel of the space whilst the vintage-treated mirrors reflect the lights of the original chandeliers, making the lower-floor restaurant glow with life.

Grace La Margna St. Moritz has championed the concept of making a home away from home for its guests. The majority of the 74 rooms and suites across both wings are south-facing with panoramic vistas of the St Moritz Lake and the Piz de la Margna. In the landmark building, a contemporary take on the authentic alpine style has been peppered with hints of Art Nouveau. Bathrooms are clad in stone to emulate the feeling of being in a mini spa while the light carpet, pale timber elements, brass fixtures, and pale beige walls infuse a fresh feel to the décor.

In the new Grace Wing, the colour palette blends in harmoniously with the striking landscape. By framing the bed with warm wooden cladding layered with a dark blue headboard, guests recognise the ode to the dazzling blueish light of the snow-capped Alps. At Grace La Margna St. Moritz, all these elements come together so guests can form an intimate connection with Switzerlands finest ski resort.

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