A young firm from São Paulo, Brazil received an Honorable Mention for their Paineiras Hotel Complex design in Rio de Janeiro. The architects, Alexandre Hepner, Denis Cossia, João Paulo Payar, Rafael Brych, Ricardo Gonçalves, and environmental design consultant Ricardo Messano, designed a complex that would be functional and “allow perfect fruition of the beautiful panoramic view and the close contact with nature.” The strategy reflects “the intention of harmonizing the intervention with the existing context, thought without denying the contemporary character of such intervention nor hiding its presence among the surrounding forest and the old hotel building.”
More about the hotel after the break.
The proposal is located in Tijuca National Park which is less than a mile from the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer. Comprised of a visitor center for the monument and the national park, an eco-tourism hotel, and a convention center, the new Paineiras Hotel takes into consideration the environmental impacts of the project while providing ample spaces for the estimated number of future tourists (due to increase sharply with the World Cup coming to Brazil in 2014 followed by the Olympics in Rio in 2016).
The largest part of the new built volume, with one underground and two semi-underground levels, will be for a tourist transfer station and related activities. The roofing of the last parking level becomes an extension of the plaza and expands the available spaces for visitor activities which are organized in different volumes. An angular shaped green roof covers the plaza and protects the pedestrian spaces from the weather, visually restores the forest canopy and reduces the environmental impact that would have been caused by the loss of the site’s permeability.
The eco-tourism hotel retrofits the existing historic hotel, which has been in disrepair for decades. Due to the team’s consideration of historic importance, the proposal preserves the hotel’s front and back exterior walls. In between these two restored walls, the new hotel will be erected, with steel-framed structure and pre-cast concrete slabs. These walls block 80% of the solar radiation focused on the western facade of the building, while the gap between the new hotel and old walls provides airstream ventilation which prevents excessive heat transfer to the building.
The access lobby is also a blend of the new and old as a set of 6 original pillars were kept “as a testimony of the structure that previously existed in the same place” and a new atrium extends to the top of the building. A pre-existing porch, which serves as the entrance to the restaurant and provides views of the Christ monument, will be kept exactly as it was more than a century ago. A “platform of light” is placed under the porch, “strengthening the contemplative function of these places.”
To avoid large movements of earth and disturbances in the site configuration, the volumes use a green layer to “merge the constructed mass into a powerful green pavilion that emerges from the forest”.
The proposal investigates a strategy of working off an existing condition to meet the modern needs of the user. This international competition and its results serve as a preview of some of the great architectural projects to expect from the area in the coming years.