This month the world winners of the Prix Versailles 2018 were announced at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. This annual recognition celebrates commercial architecture projects from around the world, promoting successful interactions between culture and economy.
The twelve winning projects—including stores, shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants—were selected from the 70 continental finalist teams from 32 different countries. These works of architecture also show projects that recognize architecture's relationship with heritage.
On April, the continental ceremony of the Prix Versailles 2018 took place in the International Center of Conférences d'Alger with the announcement of the selected projects in shops, shopping centers, hotels and restaurants for the "Africa and West Asia" and "Europe" regions.
Ten winning projects in Central America, the South and the Caribbean and twelve in North America are awarded in four categories: stores, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. In May, built projects in Africa and Asia will be awarded in Algiers and Beijing. The European winners will be announced in Paris.
Check a gallery of the continental winners projects, below.
Continental Winners Central America, the South and the Caribbean:
For all those Game of Thrones fans looking to go face to face with a White Walker (or snuggle up like Jon and Dany), here’s your chance: Lapland Hotels Snowvillage in northern Finland has opened its very own Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel, complete with ice-carvings of the show’s best settings and sigils.
Originally conceived as as 22-story hotel and residential tower, the project has now been shortened to 12 stories (130 feet) to meet restrictions imposed by the city’s Downtown Community Plan, which calls for “aggressively slow growth” and a “lower scale downtown” of mainly 4-5 story tall buildings.
Plans have been announced for a new hotel in Orlando’s planned Lake Nona community, which is to be designed by Arquitectonica in one of the fastest growing communities in the United States. The 16 storey Town Center Hotel will be situated at the heart of the community, featuring a motor court entrance, a lobby, a ballroom accommodating 200 guests, as well as a rooftop pool with a lounge and accommodation for private events. The tower will also be within close proximity to the airport, easily accessible by Orlando’s 68 million annual visitors and the “unique property will cater to airport travelers as well as those who intend to make Lake Nona their final destination.”
The international Prix Versailles Committee has announced the recipients of its annual awards celebrating built commercial architecture. The awards were held at the UNESCO World Headquarters, with recipients hailing from 6 regions around the world. Chaired by the Mayor of Versailles François de Mazières, the international jury included architects Manuelle Gautrand, Toyo Ito, Wang Shu, and acclaimed chef Guy Laroche.
The 12 World Titles are awarded in 4 top categories: stores, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. The winners were selected from a diverse range of 70 regional winners already present in the ceremony.
New renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’supcoming luxury hotel have been released, showing the 28-storey tower’s updated interiors at its location at 215 Chrystie Street in Manhattan’s Bowery District. Constructed of raw concrete, the 370 rooms are capped with eleven open-plan luxury residences and is set to open to the public in June.
“To introduce a sense of scale and to further foster the expression of each individual floor, each column is slightly inclined,” explained Jacques Herzog with the announcement of the project back in 2014. “The prominent corner of the building facing Chrystie Street is where the two geometries of the inclined columns meet. Rather than giving one direction priority, the two directions are braided together. The result is a sculptural corner column that becomes the visual anchor for the entire building.”
With their design approach treating the site as a work of art, GroupGSA’s proposal for a new hotel in Shanghai’s Fengxian District has been awarded 2nd prize in a recent competition. Located in the predominantly undeveloped Nangiao New City and part of the Yangtze River delta in south Shanghai, the Wanda Jinhai Lake Hotel aims to garner new interest in the region through the creation of a new social, cultural, and economic landmark.
At the center of the Jinhai Lake, the new hotel integrates into the site and provides scenic vistas of the surrounding waterscape. “Inspiration stemmed from the concept of Chinese Calligraphy, the stroke of a brush with its ink dripping in the water,” say the architects. “Our site is merely a piece of art and we plan to leave our mark via our architecture which is painted on the site following the lines and the movement of the surrounding context.”
It’s an age old question: How do you transport visitors to your Dutch-themed Amusement Park located four miles off the coast of Japan while also providing them with a place to sleep under the night sky?
Okay, age-old it isn’t – but it was the scenario facing the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, Japan, who recently acquired a 420,000 square-foot-island off the coast of the Nagasaki Prefecture. Their proposed solution? A fleet of floating capsules capped with a glass-roofed sleeping chamber that will slowly float overnight to the island housing new adventure-type attractions.
Plans for 555 Howard, a mixed-use hotel and residential tower to be located in San Francisco’s Transbay neighborhood, have been revealed by the city’s Planning Department. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop for developer Pacific Eagle, the 36-story tower would house 69 residential units and 255 hotel rooms, as well as a publicly-accessible open-air rooftop terrace. The project represents Piano’s second project in the city, following 2008’s California Academy of Sciences.
Nashville is set to receive its newest and tallest luxury landmark, in the form of the JW Marriott Hotel, designed by esteemed Miami firm Arquitectonica to be completed in 2018. Situated in the center of downtown, the 33-storey undulating tower will offer expansive views of the surrounding cityscape from a height of 386 feet; one of highest points in the city.
SPOL Architects’First Hotel OSL, a hotel near the newly extended Oslo Airport, has received planning approval after a unanimous vote in the Jessheim City Council. Designed to be a destination in itself, the hotel will be an environmentally friendly oval shape, featuring 300 rooms and a large atrium for sports activities.
Acting as a “meeting place for globe trotters,” the hotel aims to become a shared space for shared experiences for travelers.
Although it opened in 2011, YOTEL New York feels like it belongs in 2084, the same year the science-fiction film Total Recall is set. Quintessentially futuristic, the original cult classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger features robotic police officers, instant manicures, hovering cars, implanted memories, and skin-embedded cellphones. Its protagonist, Douglas Quaid, is a construction worker obsessed with vacationing on Mars.
One could easily imagine Quaid staying at a Martian outpost of YOTEL, a “minimal-service” hotel modeled after Japanese capsule hotels, which provide a large number of extremely small modular guest rooms for travelers willing to forgo all the services of a conventional hotel in exchange for convenient, affordable accommodations. These kinds of automated-service hotels may be a trend into the 2020s, but are they really hotels of the future?
The Bespoke* Access Awards 2016 is an international design competition, which seeks original ideas to improve access and provide an enhanced experience for hotel guests, particularly for those with disabilities. Peers in the UK House of Lords initiated the competition. It aims to employ good design to re-imagine the welcome that hotels extend to guests with physical disabilities and learning difficulties, with the aim of making the hotel experience more joyful and inclusive. The scope of the competition is wide-ranging. It seeks to reward the most creative and original ideas in architecture, interior design, product design and service design.
The aim of the Sleeping competition is to develop design proposals for the hotel typology – a place to sleep. It is asked to the participants to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of hotel. Recently many initiatives, such as Airbnb and Couch-surfing, have been proposing new interpretations of the function of hotels, developing extremely successful business models. With similar creative attitude the participants are urged to create an artefact, merging considerable programmatic innovation and valuable design tools. The proposal can be a device, a piece of furniture, an interior design project, a pavilion, a building or a urban plan. Scale of intervention, program dimensions and location are not given and they can be arranged by the participants to better suit their project.
Mecca has unveiled plans to build the world's largest hotel by 2017. The 10,000-room Abraj Kudai hotel will be built in the Manafia district, just south of the Grand Mosque. It will be a city within a city, hosting 70 restaurants, food courts, a bus station, shopping mall, conference center, ballroom and five floors dedicated entirely to the Saudi royal family; all will be set within a cluster of 12 towers standing atop a 10-story podium and centered around a massive dome.