50 YEARS OF LES ARCS: Click on the photo for an instant briefing

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

ARC 1800: A Guided Tour

During the season Arc 1800's weekly programme of animations includes a guided tour around the resort.  This year it was at 6pm on a Wednesday.  It's in French at the moment, but there is a plan to do a version in English.

Lots of reference is made to the work of Charlotte Perriand, who masterminded the interiors at Arc 1800.  This involved a mixture of design and practicality, with the initial Charvet blocks of Belles Challes, Lauzieres and Pierra Menta built very quickly, and on a much larger scale than had been the case at Arc 1600.

For those not yet persuaded as to the merits of the resort's architecture, here is a bit of background, while this post talks about Les Arcs' history.

The tour points out how much attention was made to get the orientation of the apartment blocks right, so that they got the benefit of the sunshine as much as possible.  Unlike La Plagne, there was always a plan to make the resort a summer destination, as witnessed in the golf course and indeed the Hotel du Golf (1974).  And talking of summer, the awarding of appellation status to Beaufort cheese has further helped at least stabilise the economy outside the winter season.

Belles Challes, Arc 1800

There is a reminder of how priorities changed over the course of little more than a decade. When Charvet was constructed, there was a big emphasis on being a pedestrian resort. By the time Charmetogger was on the drawing board, everyone wanted to come in their cars, and the resulting plans evolved accordingly.

In terms of developments, it does look like Edenarc will be the last major addition, as the resort is now at the limits of what will be permitted, construction-wise.