Le Roc Noir is a newly-built residence located at the foot of the Espace San Bernardo international skiing area connecting the La Rosière ski resort with Italy. It is advertised as the “most Italian” of French ski resorts not only due to its geographical location close to the border but also in terms of lifestyle. The hotel is located at an altitude of 1850 metres in a position that affords magnificent views over the valley and easy access to the area’s 160 km of ski slopes.
Built in accordance with local construction principles with a stone base and wood cladding and balconies, the five-floor building fits harmoniously into the landscape in terms of both its morphology and choice of materials. The sloping roof has a series of pitches designed to shelter the balconies and appears to mimic the pattern of the nearby mountain peaks. Le Roc Noir describes itself as a “ski-in ski-out hotel” given that the rear of the building offers direct access to the slopes. However, the facility’s concept of warm, functional hospitality makes it ideal for every season and type of guest so it is also perfect as a summer holiday destination.
The residence offers 9 studios and 25 luxury apartments in sizes ranging from 25 to 198 square metres designed to accommodate from 2 to 20 people, all fully equipped and complete with kitchen. Guests can also use a fitness room and a 400 square metre aquatic centre with two swimming pools, a sauna and steam rooms.
In keeping with tradition, wood is used extensively both on the exterior shell and in the interiors, where it serves as a decorative floor and wall covering. But instead of the rustic decoration typical of Alpine architecture, the project opted for a distinctly contemporary style in which the interior design is focused on criteria of simplicity, linearity and most importantly functionality, a quality further enhanced by the use of wood-imitation tiles. By using wood-look porcelain for the flooring (Gardenia Orchidea, Just Venice collection, I Legni line), the design exploits the almost imperceptible ambiguity between natural and industrially-produced materials. This is not only a very practical choice in such a cold, damp climate but also ensures stylistic consistency thanks to the astonishing ability of ceramic technology to imitate the natural material. The digitally printed pale oak coloured porcelain floor tiles chosen for all the guest rooms coordinate effectively with the authentic spruce of the wainscoting and the natural timber used for the furniture and doors. It is only in the bathrooms that the wood-look ceramic tiles extend onto the walls and around the showers and baths.
The Le Roc Noir project offers an interesting insight into the factors behind the continued popularity of wood-effect porcelain, which covers a wide range of solutions from highly realistic imitations of the natural material through to more graphic and conceptual reinterpretations.
Gardenia Orchidea, Just Venice
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): Class 5
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 gruppo B
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant