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An architectural ski tour: Les Arcs, 50 years on

The modernist architecture of Les Arcs has not always found favour with skiers but as it marks its half-century, our writer warms to its egalitarian vision

‘Chocolate box” isn’t a term you’d associate with the Les Arcs ski area. Arc 1950, added in 2003, is cute and traditionally Savoyard in design but, in general, the words used to describe France’s purpose-built 1960s and 70s resorts, many constructed with little concern for their natural surroundings, are modernist, brutalist, angular. I had lumped Arc 1600, Arc 1800 and Arc 2000 into that category after my first visit some years ago.

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