Courchevel

The birth of a resort

A whole story
  • BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE SKI RESORT
  • BEFORE THE SKI RESORT …… SUMMER TOURISM !
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    Beginning of the 20th century
    BEFORE THE SKI RESORT …… SUMMER TOURISM !

    In Saint-Bon, tourism activities began first in summer at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the mountain economy was based on cultivation, breeding and cheese production. But it started to change with the arrival of electricity production in our valleys that permitted the setting up of industries directly close to the power station (because we didn't know yet how to transport hydroelectricity at that time).

    At the same time, the development of railway lines, to serve our industries, permitted the arrival of the train in Moûtiers. Thanks to this easiest and fastest access to our valleys, the first summer holidaymakers, often coming from Lyon area, came to spend their summer holidays in mountain. They took advantage of the beautiful landscapes that the valley of Bozel has to offer, to come in thermal cure in Brides-les-Bains. During their stay, they were numerous to reach Saint-Bon, a village situated at 1100 meters of altitude, in order to have an air and rest cure. For them, it was also the occasion to discover and to enjoy the beauty of mountain pastures and mountain lakes in Saint-Bon.

    The arrival of the first summer holidaymakers in Saint-bon gave an idea to an inhabitants of the village, Agathe Curtet : to open in 1908 the first guest house of the village, the "Chalet Curtet". This cafe restaurant became quickly the Lac Bleu Hotel.

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  • THE FIRST HOTEL IN SAINT-BON
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    LE LAC BLEU : the first hotel of the village has opened its doors in 1908
    THE FIRST HOTEL IN SAINT-BON

    1908 was an important date in Saint-Bon : it's the opening of the first hotel of the village, in Saint-Bon, the administrative centre, by Agathe Curtet. At the beginning, it was a modest cafe-restaurant which quickly hosted summer holidaymakers coming from cities or from Brides-les-Bains thermal resort. Saint-Bon village was recommended for air and rest cure, or just for an excursion. Walks in the direction of the Loze pass, the Vizelle peak, th Roc Merlet, the Rosière waterfall or the Dent du Villard were already the classics of the valley. The walk until the Lac Bleu was particularly frequented by holidaymakers who wanted to admire the view on the wonderful landscapes that Saint-Bon valley had to offer. The Lac Bleu was chosen by Louis Curtet to name its hotel, settled opposite to Saint-bon town hall (which was also the school) and church. The hotel was enlarged several times to host more and more people. The hotel had opened its door in winter from 1925 to respond to the demand of its clients which were already ski enthusiasts.

    Hotel Lac Bleu in 1936 in Saint-Bon - Collection Bourdillon.
  • THE FIRST SKIERS
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    The 1930's
    THE FIRST SKIERS

    The first winter holidaymakers were well-off city dwellers from Lyon and Paris, who were sporty mountain lovers looking for activities which offered adrenal buzz. Experienced skiers would often recount their anecdotes for reviews such as the "Club Alpin Français" which most probably contributed to attracting a larger clientele to the young resorts of the time.

    Maire of the commune from 1928 to 1940, Louis Curtet was one of the first to be keen to develop the touristic infrastructures and improve winter facilities. They opened the small algae chalets to skiers, allowing them to get to better slopes. As time went by chalets-hotels opened for ski touring tourists in Le Praz, in Courchevel 1550 and Moriond. It was also at this time that early marketing began to develop. The resort quickly made a reputation for itself despite limited facilities and tricky access.

    Snow clearing was not very efficient and there was little in the way of transport services. Ot took a long time to get there and the final part of the journey to Courchevel 1550 and Moriond had to be completed on skis or a sledge. Arrival days were therefore very lively in Saint-Bon. Hordes of motor vehicles parked in front of the Lac Bleu Hootel and the Mairie, where the sledge transfers would take over.

    Arrival day of the winter holidaymakers in front of the Lac Bleu Hotel and the Mairie of Saint-Bon in 1939 - Collection FECHE - Photo Capellaro - Mairie de Saint-Bon
  • THE BIRTH OF A NEW CAREER: SKI INSTRUCTOR
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    THE BIRTH OF A NEW CAREER: SKI INSTRUCTOR

    Thanks to this new craze for skiing, new careers, in particular ski instructing, opened up to the locals in the mountainous communes.
    In Saint-Bon the first ski instructors were Austrians who had been employed by Louis Curtet, and were attached to the Lac Bleu Hotel. Soon afterwards the young locals realized that this career could potentially be theirs. Jean Pachod was the the first qualified instructor from the valley. He gathered a group of young and enthusiastic people from Saint-Bon and trained them in ski instructing. Amongst these trainees were Régis Chevallier, Eugène Chardon, Jean Sullice and Jean Blanc. Gradually they replaced the Austrian instructors.
    In 1935, they merged to create the first ski school in the valley, set up by Jean Pachod in Moriond.

    Photo : Jean Sullice, one of the first ski instructor from Saint-Bon. Collection Sullice - Mairie de Saint-Bon.
  • THE FIRST SKI LIFT : THE SAINTE-AGATHE IN MORIOND
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    1945
    THE FIRST SKI LIFT : THE SAINTE-AGATHE IN MORIOND

    In Saint-Bon in 1935, an initial project was planned : the construction of a cable car going from Saint-Bon up to Ariondaz, via Courchevel 1550. This did not materialise.
    In 1938 and 1939, the « Neige de Tarentaise » company put together a plan for a 500 meters long drag-lift, in the area called « Les Teppes » in Moriond. A project of two ski lifts, to be installed betweenCourchevel 1550 and the Tovets plateau, was submitted and accepted by the commune. Unfortunately, administrative issues followed by the war meant that the construction of those facilities was postponed.
    It was in 1945, that the first drag-lift was built, the Sainte-Agathe. It was installed in Moriond by the « Tarentaise ski-town and téléphérique society ». Jean Blanc, who had met and acquired an excellent knowledge of very good skiers during his travels to ski areas in other countries, took on the management of this project.

  • SKI COMPETITIONS AND BITH OF SAINT-BON SKI CLUB
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    1930
    SKI COMPETITIONS AND BITH OF SAINT-BON SKI CLUB

    The first major compétitions were organised from the early 20th century by the « Club Alpin Français » and the « Touring Club de France ». Such évents were a mean of promoting winter sports and new ressorts.
    Saint-Bon ski Club was set-up in November 1930 by Louis Curtet and Auguste Bonnevie. It regularly organised ski compétitions in Saint-Bon with the help of Lyon Ski Club. It was even entrusted with the organisation of the Savoie Championships in 1938 and 1944.
    Several itineraries were offered to the competitors : the main downhill slope went from the Col de la Loze to Saint-Bon, and another route went from the Roc Merlet. The Pralong area provided a departure point for local races.
    The compétitions were a highlight for village life in winter, and despite access difficulties, they always attracted big crowds of supporters. It was also an opportunity for great célébrations : a party and official banquet in présence of local celebrities.

  • OTHER WINTER SPORTS
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    OTHER WINTER SPORTS

    Skiing was a very popular activity for winter holidaymakers, but it didn’t have the primacy that it knows today. Other sports on snow and ice were also very popular : ice-skating, curling, bobsleigh, tobogganing, ski jumping….
    In order to provide the same level of facilities to holidaymakers as well as local people, the Saint-Boon Ski Club decided to built a 40 meters ski jump in Le Praz. The compétitions organised on this jump attracted big crowds, keen to support the exploits of those brave skiers.
    To provide ice-skating, the Lac Bleu hôtel transforme dits tennis court into an ice-rink.
    Bobsleigh and tobogganing races were very popular events. Some communes had renowned teams. This sport took place here, on the existing roads or paths which were preparated by the organisers to make them slippery. The bobsleighers shot down those tracks at speeds which were very dangerous at that time, using heavy sleighs and wearing no protective clothes.

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    SAINT-BON IN THE 1930'S

  • 1946
  • THE DECISION OF THE SAVOIE COUNCIL
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    April 13th, 1946
    THE DECISION OF THE SAVOIE COUNCIL

    At the end of the 2nd World War, the Council of Savoie wants to boost the area. The decision to study the possibility of creating a winter sports resort on an area of unspoiled land is taken. The Council entrusts Laurent Chappis, an architect and urbanist, with the task of studying this project. He roams the slopes of the 3 valleys massif, and particularly those of the mountain pastures of Saint-Bon. After several outings on skis, he draws all the best ski itineraries of the valley, in order to then create the town plan of the future ski resort.

    13TH APRIL 1946 : Savoie Council deliberate for the touristic layout of Saint-Bon valley. Laurent Chappis presents his project for a 6000 bed ski resort on the unspoiled Tovets plateau.

    Photo : Model of the future ski resort of Courchevel 1850 in 1946. Credit : Collection Emile Baetz
  • THE UNANIMOUS DECISION OF THE LOCAL COUNCIL
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    Mai 3rd, 1946
    THE UNANIMOUS DECISION OF THE LOCAL COUNCIL

    3RD MAY 1946 : The Local Council of Saint-Bon, leaded by the mayor Francis-Eugène Mugnier, unanimously accepts the project of the Savoie Council. They let them have the municipal lands of Les Tovets and Bellecôte, as well as the lands in direction of La Loze, La Vizelle, Courchevel and Moriond. Laurent Chappis is named architect and town planner, in charge of the production of the future Savoyarde resort’s layout plan. Another important man joins in this adventure: Jean Blanc. Born in Saint-Bon, and French ski champion, he is in charge of the ski area technical equipment. Missions and field studies go on during several weeks before the beginning of the first works.

  • THE BEGINNING OF THE WORKS
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    June 5th, 1946
    THE BEGINNING OF THE WORKS

    During the spring 1946, the project of the new ski resort takes shape with the launch of the first works. And the construction site is considerable ! For the first time in the history of ski and mountain development « Everything must be invented », « Everything must be organised », « Everything must be defined »… !

    5TH JUNE 1946 : The construction work on the road starts to link Courchevel and the Plateau des Tovets. The first ascent by Jeep to the plateau des Tovets takes place the 8th of October 1946. At the same time other construction works begin such as the building of power lines, telephone lines and water conveyance.

  • THE NAME OF THE FUTURE SKI RESORT
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    June - November 1946
    THE NAME OF THE FUTURE SKI RESORT

    In June 1946, a debate about the name of the future resort built on the Plateau des Tovets starts. At the initiative of this reflection, Mr. Pierre de la Gontrie, president of the Savoie Council (between 1945 and 1951), and future mayor of Saint-Bon / Courchevel (between 1959 and 1968) who find the name « Tovets » very little sales-orientated ! After several debates, the decision is taken. The resort will be called « Courchevel ».

    At this time, Courchevel was the name of a small hamlet situated at an altitude of about 1550m, today called Courchevel Village. The 30rd November 1946, the resort is officially named Courchevel, and the old place Courchevel becomes Courchevel-le-Bas. Finally, and after having several names as Courchevel 1550 for example, Courchevel has taken the name of Courchevel Village 2 years ago.

    THE ORIGINE OF THE NAME « COURCHEVEL »
    The name Courchevel comes from a local agricultural practices. Sheperds took care not to let calves graze in Courchevel 1500 area where the thick grass scratched their tongues. In Saint-Bon patois it was called « écortzevé » and the word became Courchevel.

    Photos Pierre de la Gontrie
  • THE FIRST HOTEL OF THE SKI RESORT
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    August 15th, 1946 - December 28th, 1947
    THE FIRST HOTEL OF THE SKI RESORT

    THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST HOTEL : L’HÔTEL DÉPARTEMENTAL DES 3 VALLÉES
    THE 15TH AUGUST 1946 : The construction works of the first hotel starts. This is the Council Trois Vallées Hotel which will become the Trois Vallées Hotel few years later.
    Laurent Chappis, the architect and town planner of the resort, draws the plan. The hotel has the shape of a traditionnal chalet with a two sides roof. Traditionnal materials are used.
    Without the help of mechanical machines, levelling work is done with shovels pickaxes and barrows. In November 1946, the basement level is finished. Finally, the works start again in 1947, and the hotel opens its doors for the first time the 28th December 1947.

  • ARRIVAL OF NEW ARCHITECTS IN COURCHEVEL
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    September 1946
    ARRIVAL OF NEW ARCHITECTS IN COURCHEVEL

    AND CREATION OF THE « ATELIER D’ARCHITECTURE DE COURCHEVEL »
    In September 1946, a new architect arrives in Courchevel, Denys Pradelle. He agrees to join Laurent Chappis, the architect and town planner of the resort, and to live all the year round in Courchevel. At the beginning, he lives in a small barn in wood in Les Rois Hamlet, and after in Le Lételé Hamlet (both now parts of Courchevel Village). His family joins him few months later.
    A third architect joins them in December 1946, Jean-Marc Legrand.
    Together, they create the « Atelier d’Architecture de Courchevel », and they invent a new architecture « adapted to the means and the needs of city-dweller in altitude ».

    Photo - Denys Pradelle
  • CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST 2 SKI LIFTS BY THE POMAGALSKI ENTERPRISE FROM GRENOBLE
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    October 1946
    CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST 2 SKI LIFTS BY THE POMAGALSKI ENTERPRISE FROM GRENOBLE

    In 1945, Jean Blanc took the initiative for the building of the first ski lift in Courchevel Moriond: the Sainte-Agathe. It was later bought into by the private company “Boix-Vives”.
    It wasn’t until October 1946 that the construction works for the first lifts, on the Plateau des Tovets site, were started. The enterprise Jean Pomagalski, with Pierre Montaz as site foreman, was in charge of building the first two ski lifts. The first one joins Courchevel Village to Courchevel. The second one gives access to the Loze area (nowadays it correspond to the two ski lifts along the Emile Allais stadium).
    Those two ski lifts were opened in December 1946 and in January 1947 respectively, to ensure the first opening of the new ski resort for the winter season 1946-47.

    The Plateau des Tovets in 1948 with the arrival of the ski lift from Courchevel Village. Crédit : Collection BAETZ
  • SALES OF THE FIRST LANDS
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    November 30th, 1946
    SALES OF THE FIRST LANDS

    The main works, to ensure the opening of the resort are launched in December 1946: the construction work on the road, water conveyance, pylons and telephone lines, building of the first hotel and the first ski lifts …. Everything speeds up!
    A short time before the first opening of the new resort for the winter season, the first constructible lands on the Plateau des Tovets are sold.
    They are offered firstly to people that could afford to pay the construction themselves and secondly to the inhabitants of Saint-Bon, of Savoie and to others on a rolling basis of their application.

    Photo : Skiers at the top of Mont Bel-Air during the winter 1937. View on Courchevel 1850 and Pralong, Nogentil and La Loze massif. Crédit : Collection Musée Savoisien - Mairie de Saint-Bon
  • THE RESORT IS NAMED COURCHEVEL
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    December, 1946
    THE RESORT IS NAMED COURCHEVEL

    At the same time, the daily newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré, announces that the « Savoie Council named the resort Courchevel, and the old village becomes Courchevel-le-Bas ». After many local protests, the chosen name was finally Courchevel 1550; it will be renamed Courchevel Village in 2012.

  • 1946 ANNUAL STATEMENT
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    December 31st, 1946
    1946 ANNUAL STATEMENT

    Summary of what has been achieved in 1946 :
    - Made a ski journey of the Three Valleys to identify the best potential slopes
    - Selected the best area to situate the resort
    - Made the decision to build the new resort
    - Provided the funding (plan)
    - Drew up the ski map and the urban development plan
    - Purchased the lands
    - Built the access road
    - Built the pylons, telephone lines and water system
    - Built the first 2 ski lifts
    - Marked out 3 ski slopes
    - Built the first hotel: the Council 3 Vallées hotel
    - Welcomed the first clients/customers
    Quotation of Laurent Chappis: « 1946 is a year of grace that usually comes only once in your career ».

    Portrait of Laurent Chappis, the architect and town planner of the resort, in charge of the creation of Courchevel
  • THE EARLY DAYS (1947-1953)
  • THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SKI RESORT
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    1947-1949
    THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SKI RESORT

    In 1947, the works go on with the opening of the first 2 hotels of the resort : the Council 3 Vallées Hotel and La Loze Hotel. The following year is a turning point in the history of Courchevel : Maurice Michaud explains that ski lifts first make a ski resort profitable. But with a working-class clientele, we are forced to keep a low prices for ski passes. We must therefore also move towards an upmarket clientele and admit an inevitable process : the construction of a ski lift implies the construction of new tourist beds. From 1948, a new impetus is also given to the resort with the opportunity to acquire war damages in the disaster areas and transfer them where we want to invest in construction. In 1949, there are about 16 buildings on the Plateau des Tovets.

    Crédit : Fond Goffo - Mairie de Saint-Bon. La Loze ski lift. The Council 3 Vallées and La Loze hotels, and other chalets - 1949
  • EVERYTHING SPED UP
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    1950-1953
    EVERYTHING SPED UP

    In 1950, Laurent Chappis drew the project of a church for the ski resort. The first "chalet on piles" is created under the stroke of the pen of Denys Pradelle who satisfies the request of the owner, Mr. Lang. Finally the first residential apartment building, "La Vanoise" is built in Le Plantret area.

    Important changing happened in 1951.
    First, Pierre De La Gontrie is not elected at the Savoie Council anymore. But he continued to follow the development of Courchevel as a senator. During the autumn 1951, the architect Denys Pradelle built his own chalet, "Le Petit Navire" in the new housing estate of Les Chenus. He is the first person to settle in this area.

    In 1952, Eugène Claudius Petit, Minister of reconstruction and town planning, visited Courchevel. Laurent Chappis made him discover his new 'treasure" : the "grenier-mazot" chalet (granary).
    In December 1952, La Saulire cable car is open (Neyret-Beylier system) with 2 cabins of 30 places. The masonry construction and the public works were made by the Cattelin company, which already worked on the road construction few years ago. Jean Cattelin carried out the opening of the cable car the first winter. At the same time, he is named responsible of the rescuer services of Courchevel. Thus he spent most of his night at the top oh the Saulire to guarantee the opening of the cable car every morning.

    A cruising speed set in from 1953 in Courchevel. Denys Pradelle drew a second project for the construction of the church of the resort, in collaboration with the architect Jean Prouvé. This second project was approved by the diocese.
    The plot of land is offered by the region for the construction of the church and the first expansion is planned for 2 years after. In December 1953 the Verdons, gondola lift, which gives access to the Saulire cable car, is open. It is then replaced by a new gondola in 1961.

    Credit : Mairie de Saint-Bon - Fond Goffo. La Saulire cable car departure, end of the 1950's.
  • LES MAZOTS AND LA GOUPILLE BARN (1953)
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    1953
    LES MAZOTS AND LA GOUPILLE BARN (1953)

    LES MAZOTS AND LA GOUPILLE BARN (1953) – listed as a Monument Historique on January 23rd 2005
    What is a "Grenier" or "Mazot" (granary) ?
    It is a small building made of wood, put on a stone base to insulate the house from rodents and located near the main chalet. This is where farmer put away the most precious things they own (seeds, clothes, jewels, food, blankets, documents), in case of a fire of their house. It's named "Grenier" in Savoie, and "Mazot" in Haute-Savoie and Switzerland.
    Laurent Chappis buys a granary he found in the Maurienne Valley. He brings it in Courchevel without any difficulties thanks to the ingenious construction system which doesn't use any nails, but only using tenons and mortises. He transforms it in a new kind of accommodation for winter sports, using the minimum of living area for an optimum of occupancy (less than 10sqm to host 6 people).
    Covered with thatch, it definitively becomes the attraction of the ski resort. As proof of its success, Laurent Chappis has to plan a housing estate especially dedicated to this kind of construction. Another person was delighted with this new kind of accommodation: Eugène Claudius-Petit (Urban Planning and Reconstruction Minister). He made his own built next to Chappis's granary. Today, this place is still called "Mazots area".

    Credit : Fondation Facim - David Dereani. Grenier-mazot La Goupille today.
  • THE 50'S - 60'S EXPANSION
  • EMILIE ALLAIS' DECADE (1954-1964)
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    1954-1964
    EMILIE ALLAIS' DECADE (1954-1964)

    EMILE ALLAIS ARRIVES IN COURCHEVEL IN 1954
    In 1954, Maurice Michaud contacts Emile Allais, who lives in the United-states, and offers him to become the technical adviser of the 3 Valleys to replace Jean Blanc. Actually, Jean Blanc decided to take more time for his ski shop.
    Emile Allais starts working in Courchevel in November 1954. Back from the United-States where he has participated in Squaw Valley ski resort launch, Emile Allais convinces the Savoie Council members of the necessity to base the reputation of Courchevel on its ski slopes quality. He provides his experience, his ideas for the preparation of the ski slopes and the maintenance of the ski area. He combines the primitive equipment of that time (rolls and fences) with recovered materials. Thus gradually Courchevel ski slopes became a reference for lots of ski resorts.
    Emile Allais and his pupil Jean Cattelin.
    Together they creates the pistes department and the security patrol trade. Emile Allais stays Courchevel ski area director during 10 years, between 1954 and 1964. Then he participates to the launch of La Plagne and Flaine ski resorts.
    Emile Allais was a pioneer as regards of the preparation, the maintenance and the grooming of the ski slopes and the ski area.

    Collection Emile Baetz
  • THE END OF THE 1950'S
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    1957-1959
    THE END OF THE 1950'S

    In 1957, Moriond ski resort, which was related to Bozel municipality, asks its annexation to Saint-Bon municipality. It will be accepted two years later by the State Council.
    Bellecôte ski lift opens for the first time in Courchevel 1850.
    The expansion of Nogentil and Jardin Alpin housing estates was approved.
    It's also at that time that Denys Pradelle left Courchevel and moved in Chambéry to settle there.
    Results in Courchevel 1850 in 1958
    - A cable car,
    - 3 gondola lifts,
    - 6 ski lifts,
    - 8 km of roads,
    - 210 buildings offering an accommodation capacity of 2,843 beds,
    - 51 shops.
    The year 1959 marks the last year of Laurent Chappis activity in Courchevel 1850.
    Senator Pierre de La Gontrie becomes the mayor of Saint-Bon. He entered into an arm wrestling with the department concerning the evolution of the ski resort and it will not always be for the benefit of the municipality.
    Laurent Chappis, disappointed with the evolution of the ski resort, prefers quitting.
    At that time, the hosting capacity of Courchevel 1850 is :
    Permanent inhabitants : 148 people.
    Seasonnal population : 230 people.
    Touristic beds : 3,280 divided up 1,430 in chalets, 750 in studios and 1,050 in hotels.

    Photo : Fond goffo - Mairie de Saint-Bon
  • THE FIRST GROOMING MACHINE ARRIVES IN COURCHEVEL!
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    1959
    THE FIRST GROOMING MACHINE ARRIVES IN COURCHEVEL!

    In Decemmber 1959, Emile Allais asks the Savoie Council to buy the first grooming machine in order to try for the firt time a mechanical way of grooming the snow. This revolutionary machine is a « Sno Cat » already largely used for polar expeditions.

  • THE ATELIER D'ARCHITECTURE
  • ARCHITECTURAL RULES FOUNDED IN COURCHEVEL
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    1949 - 1955
    ARCHITECTURAL RULES FOUNDED IN COURCHEVEL

    The Courchevel school (1949-1955) revolutionised the art of mountain construction ! The architects Laurent Chappis, Denys Pradelle and Jean-Marc Legrand joined forces to found the Atelier d’Architecture de Courchevel. Together they built a tenth of all Courchevel’s constructions at the time. Laurent Chappis said : « Courchevel should be a current Holiday resort and not a copy of a traditional country village ».

    Architectural rules founded in Courchevel :
    - Urban planning to fit into tje slopes.
    - Buildings height equal to or less than the pine trees ans spruces to fit into the environment.
    - Parallel allocation of buildings for housing projects.
    - South-facing Windows and dors to make the most of the sun and views.
    - Skillion, flat and butterfly roofs to overcome the danger of snowfalls.

    Architecture, key to Courchevel
    For a resort, Courchevel has a unique architectural héritage. It’s the only resort in France to have 6 buildings listed as Monuments Historiques. Five of them are considered among the most impressive buildings in 20th century mountain architecture :
    - Chalet Joliot-Curie : built in 1949, listed as Monument Historique in 2005
    - Chalet Lang : built in 1950, listed as Monument Historique in 2012
    - Chalet Le Petit Navire : built in 1951, listed as Monument Historique in 2005
    - Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Assomption : built in 1953, listed as Monument Historique in 2005
    - Grenier-Mazot La Goupille : built in 1953, listed as Monument Historique in 2005

    Fond Goffo - Mairie de Saint-Bon
  • JOLIOT-CURIE CHALET
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    1949-1950
    JOLIOT-CURIE CHALET

    JOLIOT-CURIE CHALET (1949) – listed as a Monument Historique on January 17th 2005
    It’s the holiday chalet of Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie. It is the first mountain dwelling designed by Denys Pradelle. He draws 3 outlines between March and May 1949. First, he offers a “chalet on piles” using the slope of the land (the first chalet on piles was built the following year for the family Lang). But the Joliot-Curie family doesn’t accept this project. They prefer a more rustic chalet. The Joliot-Curie chalet is built between July 1949 and September 1950. Using local materials and modern building techniques, the architect developed a new way of building on the mountain for townsfolk.

  • LE PETIT NAVIRE CHALET
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    1951-1952
    LE PETIT NAVIRE CHALET

    LE PETIT NAVIRE CHALET (1951-1952) - listed as a "Monument Historique" on January 25th 2005
    This is Denys Pradelle's own chalet. Settled in Courchevel (Courchevel Village - Rue du Petit Roi) since 1946, he worked on several projects for the construction and development of Courchevel ski resort (Courchevel 1850).
    Built in 1951, Le Petit Navire Chalet host his family who live there from october 1952.
    This chalet was realized by the "Savoisienne de Chambéry" (a private housing funding company).
    It was the first detached house to be built in a ski resort with French council housing funding and assisted home buying scheme.

    Credit : Fondation Facim - David Dereani. Chalet Le petit Navire today.
  • NOTRE DAME DE L’ASSOMPTION CHAPEL
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    1953
    NOTRE DAME DE L’ASSOMPTION CHAPEL

    NOTRE DAME DE L’ASSOMPTION CHAPEL (1953) – listed as a Monument Historique on January 17th 2005
    In 1947, an open-air chapel is built at the same place than the actual, using a pyramidal wooden framework.
    In November 1950, Laurent Chappis, the architect and town planner f the ski resort, draws a project for the construction of a church, but this project is refused by the Bishop of Tarentaise. Finally, the definitive project is approved in 1953, thanks to the collaboration of Denys Pradelle and Jean Prouvé. The works have been realised in 2 successive parts, in 1953 and 1955.
    In 1970, an extending/extension of the southwest façade and a longitudinal/leengthways extension/enlargement with the construction of an entrance porch, is realized by the architect Philippe Quinquet.
    In 1992, an independent bel tower is built beside the church.

    Credit photo : Fondation Facim - David Dereani - Courchevel 1850 church today.
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