Xiangshawan Desert Lotus Hotel / PLaT Architects

  • 22 Nov 2012
  • Hotels and Restaurants Selected Works
Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Architects: PLaT Architects
Location: ,
Completion Date: March, 2013
Area: 30,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Lotus Hotel is located in Xiangshawan Desert, 800 kilometers west to Beijing and middle of Ordos and Baotou. The site is facing Hantai River, a branch of Yellow River, and east to Kubuqi Desert that more than 200 kilometers wide.

Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Due to the restriction by its special geographic condition, PLaT Architects invented a new structural system that fix in fluid sands using only steel panels without the help of concrete or water. The panels and the supporting skeleton structures are pre-fabricated, and make the base of the building a large container for sands. Thus, the steel panel structure can function as a boat floating on desert that carries the building. The sands in and out of the structure exert same forces to each other, and thus it is flexibly stabilized. Also, walls are load-bearing structures in order to reduce the pressure on base.

Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Moreover, architects use local materials in interior design so that people get full experience of desert in Lotus Hotel. For instance, through a series of experiments, they managed to invent a wall-covering material that is made of sands from local desert.

Courtesy of PLaT Architects

The form of Lotus Hotel not only blends in the desert, but also exhibits a power of the environment and itself. Architects used the traditional Chinese idea of “Zhen”, which is, in simple words, the art of repeating same elements. Rotation of squares in a same angle creates triangles in the process, and made the form stronger. In consideration of structure, shading and wind, architects integrated function, form and landscape, resulting in a form of lotus.

Courtesy of PLaT Architects

Lotus Hotel is only a part of Xiangshawan Desert planning. There will be more such as sustainable tourism in desert, and developing more desert architecture. PLaT Architects is targeting for net-zero sustainable architecture that generates electricity and water in its own system enough for supply.


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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Xiangshawan Desert Lotus Hotel / PLaT Architects" 22 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=296725>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Hm, desert hotel in the middle of nowhere, new age form…: looks great for some snobbish orgies.

    Voucher anyone?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    looks great, but how on earth do you get there? (and what for?)

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    how the guest would be ferried there? what are the attractions and activities/event that the guests could enjoy? but I’m impressed with the Architect’s sustainability concepts. thumbs up..

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    It is a very cool idea to build a hotel that floats in the desert, wish i can visit there someday!!!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Not quite in the middle of nowhere. In fact only a few hours drive from Baotou, a major industrial city which produces nearly half the world’s rare earth minerals, plus the fact the area’s renowned for its high dunes which attract high rolling Chinese adventure junkies. Perhaps the whole place will end up the Chinese challenger to Masdar?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Howard Roark would have been so proud. Heartens me to see a group of architects do things like this. Amazing.

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