Richard Meier & Partners just broke ground on the 150-room HH Resort Hotel and Spa, which is their first project in South Korea. Located in Gangneung, the new resort complex will be a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel composed of elegant guestrooms, a world class restaurant and a wellness spa that reflect the local culture, a banquet hall, amphitheater, exhibition hall, beach house and various amenities. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Nestled in a dense hill with majestic old pine trees and facing the East Sea of Korea, the new HH Resort Hotel and Spa will be defined by two main buildings and several supporting facilities placed throughout the site. The hotel will be anchored to the summit plateau of this historically significant and one of the most prominent properties along the coastline. The Banquet Hall has been designed as a separate building that floats on pilotis on the lower beach and promenade level, connected by a bridge to the Arrival Plaza of the Hotel.
A series of sensitively incised spaces have been designed in procession from the approach on the main road along Gyeongpo Lake. The ascending road to the hotel meanders through the steep terrain and the pine forest with glimpses and framed views of the Gyeongpo Canal and the Hotel. The main building will have a four-story base with subtle angles and shapes that follow the gentle curves of the topography, juxtaposed with a 15-story trapezoidal tower. Almost all the guestrooms will have open views of the sea, and a few with views of Gyeongpo Lake and the distant Taebaek Mountains to the west.
It is quite a challenge to design a good building on a site so spectacular and powerful by itself. The design here embodies our firm’s constant belief in the dialogue and striking the delicate balance of architecture and landscape, while creating a building both graceful and sensuous, and taking every advantage of the inherent culture and heritage of the site.
The crisp geometry of the tower will contrast with the soft shapes of the hill and lower floors of the restaurant and spa. Floating balconies, articulated planes, expressive and textured facades and canopies are characteristic elements of the design, intensifying the very different shapes and silhouettes of the building from various vantage points. The forms that are expressed in shades of white and composed of pre-cast concrete panel, metal panel, glass curtain wall, and local stone will transform throughout the day in the interplay of light, shadow and the reflections of the deep seasonal colors of its surroundings.
The equally distinctive interiors have been designed to provide comfort controlled with a soft, light, and elegant palette of materials, carefully crafted to enhance the experience of open, airy, and engaging spaces.
The design is a result of our close collaboration with the Owner, a dedicated team of local architects and consultants, James Corner Field Operations, and L’Observatoire International. The design will complement the beautiful Korean landscape rich in history and tradition and offer striking architecture and interiors for an unparalleled world class resort.
Architects: Richard Meier & Partners
Location: Gangneung, South Korea
Design Principals: Richard Meier, Dukho Yeon
Project Architects: Guillermo Murcia, Hyung Sok Moon
Project Architect/Interiors: Vivian Lee
Collaborators: Kevin Baker, Joe DeSense, Aurora Farewell, Emi Honda, Katie Kasabalis, Robert Kim, Chris Layda, Seo Joo Lee, Richard Liu, Diana Lui, Marianna Mello, Sharon Oh, Greg Park, Hans Put, Nathan Petty, Yuan Yang Teng, Sang Min Yoo
Photographs: Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners