Architecture for Life

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence
Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence
Body & Mind
„Only if you dare to do something new, to cross borders, you can experience new knowledge“. 

Architect Matteo Thun, Milano

At Waldhotel, spacious interiors bathed in southern light feature a balanced modern design and natural finishes that appeal to all senses. Here, a perfect symbiosis of the human touch of architectural creativity and natural elements reveals itself. We wanted to find out how the idea of such establishment was born and to find out more we sit with Star Architect Matteo Thun.

How the project was born?

The briefing from the investors was to create an innovative hotel complex offering exceptional wellness facilities and medical care in a setting of unspoiled nature.

How does Matteo Thun define the style of this project?

The English words hospital and hospitality are born from the Latin word ‘hospes’ - the guest: as a guest you are as welcomed to our hotels as you are to our hospitals!


Not only that Waldhotel is an innovation in Western hospitality (low season is high season) with highly qualified medical care and treatments, it is also setting architecturally standards: The façades are partially designed with ‘gabions’ filled with limestone recovered from the excavation. These ‘gabions’ continue the retaining walls of the surrounding slopes and perfectly integrate the building into the cultural landscape of the Burgenstock Resort. The external wooden lattice structure from local larch wood is a brise-soleil and protects from rain and snow and thanks to the terraced structure and its green and naturally insulated flat roofs the hotel complex blends into the landscape. The orientation of rooms to the south optimizes the energy efficiency of the hotel and for the heat and to cool the water from Lake Lucerne is used.


How does Matteo Thun define sustainable architecture and how was this reflected in the Waldhotel project?

It should hardly be necessary to talk about sustainable architecture. We should just build it: an architecture sine qua non. We do not want to be recognisable by a special architectural handwriting, but by a sustainable, durable design: aesthetic longevity is paired with technical durability. At Waldhotel it’s all about health and nature. We wanted the building to mirror the Genius Loci – the uncontaminated character of the surroundings. This is why we decided to shape the facades with gabion baskets, filled with stones recovered from the excavation of the Bürgenstock mountain, continuing the walls of the slope. The result is a synthesis as surrounding walls retain the original stone, while the green, naturally insulated flat roof allows a seamless landscape integration. Local larch wood was used for the external structure granting a shading system and protecting balconies and generous terraces from all atmospheric agents.


With the new health & balance trends does Matteo Thun forsee new trends in hospitality field architecture?

A durable, efficiently structured and philanthropical architecture enhances our vitality and natural materials, a combination of inside and outside and a deliberate use of light and color favor the health in general or healing process in particular.  Building a hotel or a hospital means to create concepts that influence the realationship between the physical space and our wellbeing. 

Touch-free is key. We mainly build hotels or hospitals – the new situation that we are living in influences of course our work as well - for SPAs will see modularity and flexibility, touch-free doors, taps, etc., sanitized air conditioning units, more lush indoor air purifying planting and sealed flooring, walls and ceilings… Besides private treatment rooms, the layout of high traffic social spaces will be revisited in terms of proportions that grant social distancing and - immune boosting features will become a focal point.



Architecture for Life in all spaces and details




Arhitect Matteo Thun

The Milan-based architect and designer was born and raised in the bilingual German and Italian speaking region of South Tyrol, Italy. Following his studies with Oskar Kokoschka and Emilio Vedova at the Salzburg Academy he graduated cum laude with a degree in Architecture from the University in Florence. He co-founded the ‘Memphis’ group in Milan in 1981 with Ettore Sottsass and opened his own studio in Milan in 1984. 

His studio’s designs are inspired by timeless simplicity and centred on the human scale. Founded in 1984, the company is operating internationally in the hospitality, healthcare, residential, offices and retail sectors and product design.
Encompassing a team of 70 interdisciplinary architects, interior, product and graphic designers, Matteo Thun & Partners works from micro to macro scales with a focus on the management of highly complex projects. The work prioritises aesthetic durability, technological longevity, and the future lifespan of buildings and products. A profound respect for a project’s soul and a sensitive approach to the client’s individuality is key to all of Matteo Thun & Partners’ work.

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