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Eastern Bloc Architecture: Futuristic Hotels and Avant-Garde Resorts

This article is part of "Eastern Bloc Architecture: 50 Buildings that Defined an Era", a collaborative series by The Calvert Journal and ArchDaily highlighting iconic architecture that had shaped the Eastern world. Every week both publications will be releasing a listing rounding up five Eastern Bloc projects of certain typology. Read on for your weekly dose: Futuristic Hotels and Avant-Garde Resorts.

X-Architects Proposes "Architectural Constellation" for a Desert Hideaway Resort in KSA

X-Architects’ entry for the Desert Resort Competition, generated a luxury 60 keys desert hideaway resort, in an ultra-harsh and empty environment. Placed in Rub’ Al Khali, the world’s biggest sand sea located in the KSA, the project addresses the challenging design in desert-like surroundings.

Courtesy of VyonyxCourtesy of VyonyxCourtesy of VyonyxCourtesy of Vyonyx+ 13

Conceptual Thermal Facilities Imagined by Studio Vertebra

Tokat Sulusaray Thermal Facilities designed by the Istanbul-based office Studio Vertebra commemorates the region’s historical background and enhances the touristic aspect. In harmony with the natural and archeological landscape, the project aims to regenerate the city.

Anadu Resort / Studio8

Architecture. Image © Sven Zhang1F Fireplace With Reclaimed Grey Brick. Image © Sven Zhang1F Bar and Lighting. Image © Sven Zhang1F Restaurant (custommade lamps and reclaimed wood table. Image © Sven Zhang+ 43

  • Architects: Studio8
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1200
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Lava Homes / Diogo Mega Architects

© Miguel Cardoso© Miguel Cardoso© Miguel Cardoso© Miguel Cardoso+ 52

Anji Erlu Resort / The Design Institute of Landscape and Architecture China Academy of Art

© Aoguan Performance of Architecture© Aoguan Performance of Architecture© Aoguan Performance of Architecture© Aoguan Performance of Architecture+ 47

Huzhou, China

World's First Underwater Hotel to Open in the Maldives

After years of construction, the world's first underwater hotel has officially opened in the Maldives. The hotel, part of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, will allow guests to relax within the waters of the Indian Ocean and is touted by the developers as "an ambitious display of architecture, design, and technology."

Zipeng Bay Resort Residential / Shanghai ZF Architectural Design

© Tang Xuguo© Tang Xuguo© Tang Xuguo© Tang Xuguo+ 29

Hefei , China

Meijie Mountain Hotspring Resort / Achterboschzantman Architecten

© Anna de Leeuw© Anna de Leeuw© Anna de Leeuw© Anna de Leeuw+ 49

Liyang, China

Tsingpu Baisha Retreat / Tsutsumi & Associates

© Hiromatsu, Yuming Song (Beijing Ruijing Photo)© Hiromatsu, Yuming Song (Beijing Ruijing Photo)© Hiromatsu, Yuming Song (Beijing Ruijing Photo)© Hiromatsu, Yuming Song (Beijing Ruijing Photo)+ 66

Lijiang, China

Fushengyu Hotspring Resort / AIM Architecture

Villa. Image © Dirk WeiblenLong Roof Pool. Image © Dirk WeiblenSpa Indoor Pool. Image © Dirk WeiblenSpa Indoor Pool. Image © Dirk Weiblen+ 23

Mianyang, China
  • Architects: AIM Architecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  24000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015

Australia's Sunshine Coast Plans for New $900 Million Mixed-Use Development

The Sunshine Coast of Australia’s Yaroomba Beach is about to get a $900 million upgrade. The integrated, mixed-use development will be the first 5-star resort developed on the Sunshine Coast in 30 years. HASSELL has been awarded the work as master planners, architects, and landscape architects for the massive project, focusing on sustainable and ecological goals to ‘touch the ground lightly.'

Courtesy of Sekisui HouseCourtesy of Sekisui HouseCourtesy of Sekisui HouseCourtesy of Sekisui House+ 6

Beijing Jinhai Lake International Resort / SYN Architects

© Chen Yanming© Chen Yanming© Chen Yanming© Chen Yanming+ 31

Beijing, China
  • Architects: SYN Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  13000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Call for Entries: New Center of Borovets Architectural Competition

On the occasion of the commemoration of 120 years since the foundation of Borovets, the oldest mountain resort in Bulgaria, the Municipality of Samokov and its partners - the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria, the Union of Architects in Bulgaria and the Union of Urbanists in Bulgaria -announce an international architectural competition for new central part of the resort.

Half House / Atelier Lai

© Hao Chen© Xuguo Tang© Xuguo Tang© Hao Chen+ 32

Huzhou, China
  • Architects: Atelier Lai
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  400
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015

When Architecture and Tourism Meet: La Grande Motte's Pyramids by the Seaside

Given a chance to realize the architect’s dream of creating his own utopian city from a blank slate, French architect Jean Balladur was inspired by lost civilizations of the past. His designs recall the architecture of grand Mayan ruins with some added flair from the 1960s, all in the form of a seaside resort village in southern France, La Grande Motte. Balladur devoted nearly 30 years to his life’s work, which today welcomes over 2 million tourists annually.

"La Grande Pyramide". Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grande_motte_02.jpg'>Wikimedia user Alain Caraco</a> licensed under <a href='http://https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>"Le Temple du Soleil". Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Temple_du_soleil_Grande-Motte_059.jpg'>Wikimedia user Dinkley</a> licensed under <a href='http://https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbaranov/5231503058/'>Flickr user alexbaranov</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Public domain image <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/modern-architecture-france-beach-620035/'>via Pixabay user Jackmac34</a>+ 16

Leonardo DiCaprio, Eco-Tourism, and Blackadore Caye: Has Green Building Jumped the Shark?

In early April 2015, the New York Times reported on Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent purchase of Blackadore Caye, a small island off the coast of Belize that has faced significant environmental degradation and erosion. A patron of several environmental projects, DiCaprio is partnering with Paul Scialla, CEO of the Delos real estate and wellness platform, to create an eco-resort intended to serve as the latest model of cutting-edge, environmentally-responsible tourism development. The development plans include a row of floating guest suites built over the water, 48 private villas (ringing in at $5-15 million), human health and anti-aging wellness programs, and a conservation area. The project is advertised as meeting the ambitious green building standards of the Living Building Challenge and the WELL Building Standard®.

Many Times readers in the comments section sardonically noted that the private jets and the shipment of building materials and daily resources for island development come with large environmental and social price tags that far outweigh the conservation efforts associated with the resort. On the other hand, a few commentators pointed out that the development will employ local labor and save the island from complete degradation. The discussion surrounding the pros and cons of “eco-tourism” development is not a new one, and not one that is easily settled.

But beyond the (important) discussion of the impacts of eco-tourism, the development raises questions about the emergence of alternative green building market standards, which ostensibly aim to transform the building industry by setting measurable targets for the environmental and social effects of the places we live and work.