WilkinsonEyre unveils Bakhmaro Mountain Hotel

In a valley at an altitude of approximately 2000m, Bakhmaro Mountain Hotel provides access to unparalleled views of the steep mountain slopes. WilkinsonEyre’s competition-winning proposal has been designed to connect guests to the wider landscape from the moment of arrival.

The scheme fosters a relationship between architecture, experience and the natural world. This begins as the mountain roads draw you into Bakhmaro, over the ridges and into the valley, where the architecture becomes a part of this extraordinary view, a purposeful composition of stepped and staggered form. As you move closer, gently sloping contours of its pitched roofs emerge from the landscape.

The architectural response creates a ‘base’ to the buildings – a heavier stone element that reads as part of the terrain – with lighter timber buildings on top. This is a language that borrows from the historical fabric of Bakhmaro. Working with the topography, WilkinsonEyre created steps and terraced roofs to maximise the views, whilst creating a linked series of amenity spaces. The building acts as a kind of filter for the landscape. As you enter the building, its solidity melts away with a porous interior that blurs the edge between inside and outside.

The resort design respects and seeks to repair the dramatic mountain topography. The quality of the view has been eroded and ecosystems compromised through the uncontrolled grazing of animals and through ad hoc arrangements for sewage and water. The biodiversity of Bakhmaro has been significantly altered, degrading what should be an ecologically rich alpine meadow eco-system.

The architectural response defines and organises the public landscape in a way that connects it to wider routes and trails, providing better access sunshine, shelter from the wind and a series of human scaled spaces within the vast mountain landscape. This approach extends to adjacent natural systems, with the integration of existing streams into the landscape design. The use of plants and trees diversify the local ecology and will begin the regeneration and repair of this corner of Bakhmaro.

Sam Wright, Director, WilkinsonEyre said:

“Looking at Bakhmaro today we can all see how beautiful its natural setting is, but when we look closely at the foreground we actually find a damaged landscape. Our vision for Bakhmaro Mountain Resort is one that deeply respects the site and its surrounding landscape – where the damage from uncontrolled, ad-hoc patterns of poor developments is avoided, and a beautiful relationship is established between architecture, experience and the natural world. Working with the mountain topography provided WilkinsonEyre with an opportunity to create a unique experience for guests at the proposed mountain resort, with a proposal that is appropriate in scale and has been carefully considered throughout the design process.”