Avoriaz 1800

his year marks the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Avoriaz. The original concept started with the idea of creating a car-free resort, pedestrianised throughout, which at the time was a revolutionary concept and it is a very unique resort.  Now we can see how revolutionary this was: imagine you arrive in resort and leave your car at the car Park for the duration of your stay and head to your accommodation on skis, by foot or Horse drawn sleigh. A real break in the Mountains away from your hectic daily life !

The creation of this unique ski resort was the brain child of three men from very different backgrounds :

Jean Vaurnet, who was the Olympic Champion in downhill skiing the 1960 Sqaw Valley Games. Brought up in Morzine Vaurnet was the driving force behind the creation of the Portes du Soleil ski area.

Alongside the audacious property developer Gerard Bremont, who started as a young property developer in 1964, he is now the CEO of the Pierre et Vacances-Centre Parcs company.

Gerard Bremont propelled Avoriaz into the public eye through the promotion of the Avoriaz International Fantasy Film Festival in 1973. This quickly became an internationally renowned film festival and it was here that Steven Spielberg won his first award for the Film Duel. Avoriaz became the Saint Tropez in the snow with all the stars from the 70s coming. The third creator was the talented architect Jacques Labro, who had already won the prestigious Rome Prize, with his associates.

The talented architect: Jacques LABRO already winner of the Grand Prix of Rome, and his associates: Jean-Jacques OZONI and Jean-Marc ROQUES.

It is the architecture that gives Avoriaz its truly unique character. The architects went on to win the prize of Equerre d’argent. In 1968 for the creation of residences Sequia and Melezes. The buildings were designed to mimic the nature surrounding them ; the lines and colours perfectly blend in with the surrounding environment. Everything was planning to integrate with the landscape creating an organic architecture.

The resort is now classified as a heritage site, everything in Avoriaz has been created by the same company always adhering to the original concept. As a result Avoriaz has created its own unique style and identity. From extraordinary beginnings this innovative resort has continued to grow and evolve over the decades still making Avoriaz the resort of the future.

agence des flocons Avoriaz
© Neil Sharp, photographer