"THE SECRET GARDENS"
A LUXURY SWISS RETREAT
ENTIRELY INSPIRED BY PERSIAN CULTURE
By: Yves Ghiai, Architect
NOT SEARCH FOR THE GOLD ITSELF
FOR THE MAGIC WAND THAT TURNS ALL INTO GOLD”
Note: This is a fascinating project by an extremely talented Iranian, we wish him the very best
With many thanks to Yves for sharing this with us
in 1996, I was approached buy a Dutch billionaire residing in Switzerland
to design an exclusive
hotel and retreat, my mind could not escape my father’s quote about the
therefore engaged in searching for the Essence of Persian Mysticism and
applying it to this extraordinary
located by Lake Geneva near Lausanne.
client thought I was being poetic, whereas in fact, I was being Persian.
following text and images illustrate how we can infuse our culture without
the superficial and simplistic
of traditional decorative elements.
also aims at proving that one can be futuristic and yet preserving ones
roots at the same time.
project consists of a main hotel, a shopping arcade, 20 pavilions, a
tennis club, a business center with auditorium, a rejuvenation clinic, a
balneotherapy center an outdoor cinema with amphitheater, and an
of which are disposed in the shape of flowers branching off of the main
five star luxury hotel, which includes 30 suites, an indoor pool and a
The building is toped by an enormous retractable double roof made of
special glass panels treated with photovoltaic cells that capture solar
indoor underground pool has a glass roof leveled with the floor of the
shopping arcade is in the shape of a flower branching off of the reception
area through a translucent tubular
similar tubes branch out of the hotel to reach other flower shaped
structures such as the pavilions and the
towards the garden, the main structure is supported by a series of columns
reminiscent of the palace
“ Tchehel Sotun” thereby creating the very Persian feeling of “
Birouni-Andarouni” and the use of porches “Eivans”.
the main glass roof is in the shape of the letter “Aleph” symbolizing
the start or the beginning.
building has a central patio as in many ancient Persian palaces and is
open to the garden on all four sides
of the “Tchahar Bagh” architectural themes.
underground pool with glass roofing is a symbol of the Sun as portrayed on
Zoroastrian symbols and the globe
fountain of the circular entry symbolizes the Earth.
resort contains 11 flower shaped elements all connected to the main
building by translucent tubular
thereby allowing the guests to experience the garden while being protected
from the weather.
transparent passages are wide enough to allow for both pedestrian and
electric cart passage.
suites pavilions, reminiscent of the roses of Isphahan, are so designed
that branches of them could be
off for special high level political guests desirous of having any number
of “flowers” at their disposal.
flower contains 5 “petals” or suites with a central foyer with
fountains much like old “Ghajar” houses
other pavilions comprise of the tennis club, the shopping arcade, the
auditorium and the business center.
auditorium and business center’s design have been inspired by the
“bird of paradise” flower.
curved roofs of the pavilions as well as those of the corridors have been
inspired by the elegant
“nastaaligh” style of calligraphy.
pool complex contains a giant exterior pool, an outdoor performing arts
center with amphitheater and
indoor underground rejuvenation clinic.
giant half moon shaped canopy overhangs over the circular pool symbolizing
the Moon completes the
of Earth, Sun and Moon as do Mystic symbols of old Persia.
of an indoor arena, an outdoor arena, lodging for the horses and a
dressage ring. The whole structure
shaped in the form of a jumping horse as seen from the side.
As seen in a real view, the circle of the dressage ring symbolizes the
horse’s head, the outdoor arena its neck
the indoor complex, its body.
launching of the Secret Gardens Resort was made during a grand ceremony at
the San Francisco Yacht club.
Swiss and American corporate leaders were present and Mayor Willie L.
Brown of San Francisco issued
special proclamation declaring October 26th, the
Heydar Ghiai & Sons Day in San Francisco.
the President of the Swiss Federation, Mr. Delamuraz issued an official
on the complex is scheduled to start in 2003 and to complete in 2006.
Secret Gardens” is destined to be the world’s most exclusive retreat
while hosting high level political and
forums in the most secured and private setting.