The objective of this competition, entitled Design of Hotel Inspiration, was to design a hotel with a dedicated space for meditation, spiritual work, art, music and creative movement.
The proposed CORE design was based on building meaningful associations between Feng Shui principles, numerology (Fibonacci) and findings of a detailed bioclimatic study of the location. In the development of an innovative design solution that meets these different guidelines, the common vision was to create a space with strong earth and sky connections.
FENG SHUI INSPIRATIONS: A HOTEL IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
At CORE, we recognized early in the project the need to use natural building materials and create a healthy and natural environment that positively affects the well being of the occupants and influences all their senses. In keeping with the five elements in Feng Shui (wood, metal, earth, fire and water), elements that are also represented by the cardinal points, relevant sustainable materials such as wood, glass, zinc and clay were incorporated.
A structure composed of natural building materials while integrating with its natural environment was seen as essential for hotel functionality and wellbeing to its residents. CORE team therefore leveraged the abundance of vegetation, sturdy trees and fertile soil in order to create a biodiverse microclimate that attracted birds and animals.
While carefully calculated cardinal directions according to Feng Shui principles defined the orientation and design of the building, the numerology and Fibonacci sequencing created the proportions. In addition, CORE conducted a detailed bioclimatic study analysing the wind and sun effects on the build area, suggesting where vegetation was required to promote the optimal air flow throughout the building, as well as defining shading for all seasons.
The proposed snail shape of the building was also inspired by Feng Shui principles. The shape encouraged the energy flow through all the areas of the building, providing the necessary and indicated energy type in each room depending on its use to create a specific ambience.
The shape of the building was symbolic and followed a very conscious, methodical and intentional process. The snail-inspired design concentrated the predominant power in the centre of the build and created a suction of energy from the outside inwards where the meditation area was located. The deeper one entered into the building the more silence and peace were to be found, with an opening to the East to capture this specific energy. At the same time, this design offered a large inviting opening to the public where we positioned the entrance, gallery, bar and restaurant. Along the passageways of the snail shape design, one could browse all areas influenced by different types of energy and its relative context. By designing in accordance to Fibonacci, this enabled the building to be even more in-tune with nature.
The South, which in Feng Shui represents the energy of fame and success, is where the predominant entrance was chosen. This is the area of most activity in terms of socialising and interaction. In the South-West, the area associated with wealth, a gallery was placed between the entrance and interior ZEN garden. The effect of this energy was meant to enhance the sale of artistic works in the gallery. In the East, associated with the energy of vitality and health, we interrupted the build with a ZEN garden to enhance this specific energy and create a deeper connection with nature. Another internal ZEN garden was located in the North-East, the area associated with wisdom and a third internal ZEN garden was placdd in in the North, connecting to the outside with water features, enhancing the energy of the North by water.
The North-West and West, which represent the energy of mentors and innovation respectively, was where the performance theatre rooms were placed. Near the centre, with orientation to the South, the painting studios take advantage of the calm energy of that point while leveraging the the energy of the South which is associated with fame and success. In order to avoid distraction, the glass facade was covered with a flowing waterfall. Specifically planned windows and doors in the roof enhanced the connection between the building and the universe.
Low energy technology
Photovoltaic and solar thermal system allowed the building to be self-sustainable. The glass facades optimised the building´s internal climate. Perforated aluminum panels were electronically operated and transformed the building’s appearance from a solid monolithic volume to a combination of closed and transparent surfaces, depending on the solar radiation on the build.
Natural direct and indirect light illuminated the areas according to the specific use of space while a controlled ventilation system allowed the continual removal of stale air and replaced it with fresh air. High quality air was an important prerequisite for a healthy, comfortable and peaceful living environment.