Architects from around the world are designing hotels that are sustainable and mindful of their ecological footprint, seeking to connect their guests more closely to nature. We are talking about a deep understanding that seeks to truly harmonize the environment of the place with the architecture to create a forgotten closeness to nature for urban guests.
Using natural materials, consuming less energy and water, and keeping the building cool with green facades or other effective systems, architects face the social challenge of climate change while maintaining their own design standards. They have understood that striking a smart balance between nature, comfort and design offers genuine added value: for hotels to be economical and sustainable and for tourists drawn to nature not only by a new environmental awareness but by a deep need.
Humans and nature in harmony
Architecture has never been just an end in itself; it has always had a social relevance. And he is never alone, but always in dialogue with his environment. For this reason, going back to nature also means bringing people closer to nature. Modern hotel architecture is not limited to placing individual elements of nature in a prominent place. That would be too simple. The aim is to intertwine the interior and the exterior, to create a genuine connection with the interior environment and, at the same time, aim for a unique architectural design and special comfort. Only by achieving that can the high expectations of today's guests be met; guests for whom the experience of nature is part of an integrated environment.
Build in harmony with nature and you build for the future. The following six winners of the renowned iF Design Award 2021 demonstrate that the blend of ecological awareness and creative design is able to create winning projects. They convinced the jury of the discipline of architecture through their respectful and holistic concepts:
Connects visitors with the natural environment: The Tongchen Hotel is an iF Gold Award winner located in the middle of the white deer plain in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province. This resort hotel is a brilliant work of architecture. The excellent use of contrasting materials and lyrical play of light and shadow makes this project an experience that is respectful and impressive in equal measure. The linguistic symbolism embedded in the architecture reflects continuity and rhythm.
The project is part of an overall local redevelopment plan.
Client: Shaanxi Siji Yuanmai
Architect: Guang Zhou Hui Yi Ming Cheng Architectural Design Co., Ltd.
Expands the auditorium to the exterior: The Glass Studio renovation challenged the existing isolated, expressionless building and discovered a brand new image of exhibition space. New façade and massing are introduced through the delicate concerns of material, scale, viewing experience, structure redesign, circulation, sustainable design, all together not only successfully overcome the limits of narrow interior space, but also provide the extraordinary scene of a real-time glass making show.
Client: Cultural Affairs Bureau/ Hsinchu City, Taiwan
Architect: BSA Architects/ Taipei City, Taiwan. Bee Sung (Principal), Wei-Jan Tseng (Project Manager), Hsiu-Min Lin, Sheng-Zheng Liao (Associate Architects
Interweaves "green" and "light": Following this idea, the mission of this design was to keep old trees on the site and minimize impact on the surroundings. So, the architects broke up the large building mass and replaced it with scattered individual space units. They are arranged randomly around the original trees, encircling the old tree at the center of the site and are connected by the winding cloister. Visitors can quietly experience the environment with their own senses instead of any verbal introduction.
Client: NEWLAND DEVELOPERS GROUP/ Taipei, Taiwan
Architect: CYS.ASDO/ Taipei, Taiwan
Combines ecological value, comfort and modern design: This glamping resort was designed to give people a chance to experience nature closer while providing uniquely designed architecture and comforts. The units are juxtaposed with a minimum change of nature. The arrangement of units has poetic emotion. The shape and position of structures were designed to give aesthetic emergence by both day and night. The architects sought to create a dynamic shape with a minimal and simplistic structural system.
Client: Glam Tree Resort/ Gapyeong-gun, South Korea
Architect: ArchiWorkshop/ Seoul, South Korea
Transforms an old rural house into a future-oriented hotel: Within a village in Hangzhou, China, the architects have completed the renovation of an old rural house and its adjoining four courtyards to create a boutique hotel that blends traditional architecture with contemporary design. The project has been appropriately named ‘MYMORY’. The name is a neologism created from the two terms ‘my’ and ‘memory’ and is similar in pronunciation to ‘memory.’
Client: MYMORY Boutique Hotel/ Lin'an, Hangzhou, China
Architect: Atelier Right Hub/ Hangzhou, China
Intertwining a traditional exterior and interior color scheme: The book “In Praise of Shadows” explains the conceptual base of Japanese architectural beauty. It indicates how the Japanese cherished shadows over the history of its cultural development that are easily translated into modern architecture. Following this, the architects made the hotel experience unique. They placed inner gardens in the guest rooms that are technically outdoors. Dark color schemes in the common area emphasize the natural lighting in the guest rooms.
Client: Cosmos More/ Shibuya, Japan
Architect: Geneto Architects/ Kyoto, Japan
Interiors: Balancing Ecological Value, Comfort, and Modern Design
Harmony outside and inside is a principle that the iF Design Award recognizes not only for sustainable architecture but also for interior architecture as one of nine award disciplines in total. Award winners within the category of hospitality like the MIWA YUGAWARA Resort (1), the MUNI KYOTO luxury hotel (2) or the Japanese Hong Restaurant (3) are not following just any old trend; they are following a desire to combine old values and modern architecture. Others, like the didar Café (4) or the Frontier Coffeeshop (5), seek to retain as much of the old building as possible and to add modern accents to it. Yet others, like the OOO Café (6) or the Tianshui Vegetarian Restaurant (7), opt for an interior design that is inspired by the surrounding nature. What they all share is an integrated concept that combines tradition and modernity, nature and a young urban style at the same time.
(1) MIWA YUGAWARA Resort
Client: CLOUD 9 C Co., Ltd./ Tokyo, Japan
Architect/Design: Uchida Design Inc./ Tokyo, Japan; Miyabi Architect/ Numazu, Japan
(2) MUNI KYOTO Luxury Hotel
Client: Godo Gaisha AYG/ Kyoto, Japan
Architect/Design: Yasuda Atelier/ Tokyo, Japan; Uchida Design Inc./ Tokyo, Japan; Landscape Plus/ Tokyo, Japan
(3) Hong Japanese Cuisine
Client: Fairytale Group/ Xi 'an, China
Architect:/Design Guang Zhou Hui Yi Ming Cheng
Architectural Design Co., Ltd./ Guangzhou, China
(4) didar Café
Client: didar café/ Tehran, Iran
Architect/Design: Alireza Shafiei design studio/ Tehran, Iran; persiadoor part asia co./ Tehran, Iran
(5) Frontier / Coffee shop
Client: Mr. Lee/ Taipei, Taiwan
Architect/Design: YUN-YIH Design Company/ Taipei, Taiwan; Chung-Lin Lee
Client: Cafe OOO/ Seogwipo-si, South Korea
Architect/Design: nonespace/ Seoul, South Korea
(7) Tianshui Vegetarian Restaurant
Client: Tianshui Vegetable Food Co., Ltd./ Guangzhou City, China
Architect/Design: GuangZhou Daosheng Interior Design Co., Ltd.
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