The town of morzine authorised the promoters contract to develop the ski slopes and install ski lifts. The beginnings were modest: the tête aux boeufs slope was equipped with chair and drag lifts. At that time, ’ Le pas de lac ’ was the only restaurant-bar-reception of the resort, behind which was a dormitory for the staff. Jean Vuarnet was proud of his refuge : ” I tested at last the interest of skiers for this great site”.
Parallel to the development of the skiing area, avoriaz came off the architects drawing board. Contempory, baroque, avant garde, fantasy: the architecture of avoriaz has not failed to provoke passions and to collect opinions. Jacques Labro, one of the three architects, refuses however to give a rational explanation for the style of Avoriaz. «Style is inherent in each architect, one has a way of imagining and creating, and the nature of the project or the era can have an influence on ones style».The era was not far from 1968 and its freedom of militant expression. this incited jean marc roques, another one of the architects to look for the inspiration of the avoriaz project in « the profound study of the life of marmottes !” this of course was not true, however his poetry adds further to the avoriaz legend. In reality, one idea guided thier work, to create an architecture adapted to the mountain context rather than drawing inspiration drawn from the savoyard chalet or urban concepts.
The architects strove to link the forms, volumes and materials that they used to the landscape, and to the enviroment. The residences Sosna, Thuya, Araucarya as well as the chalets opposite are the best examples of this: the architecture, in harmony with the nature of the environment, abandons traditional paths, takes liberties with heights and is unloyal to right angles. The roofs inclined towards the floor are better adapted to cope with the snow which covers all the buildings in winter. The only concession to local traditions are the facades covered with ’ tavaillons ‘, wooden tiles which cover many savoyard roofs. The “tavaillons” used are also called shingles as they are made out of red cedar a wood of canadian origin. This wood is left free of varnish leaving the elements to change their tone and colour: the southern facades becoming a silvery grey, those of the north an ash grey and those of the east and west becoming a browny orange.
The Dromonts village architecture was awarded in 1968 with an “Equerre d’argent”. The hotel also attracted dare devils who didn’t hesitate to ski down its angled facade. It also quickly became an object of attention for photographers who came and squatted its front steps ready to snap the stars who had come for ‘the festival’ before they were transported by horse drawn carriage into to darkened rooms.