Archive for ‘Hospitality’

March 11, 2012

Edel AG | Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners

Architects: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners 
Location: , Germany
Client: Edel Music AG
Project Year: 2002
Project Area: 6,000 sqm
Photographs: Klaus Frahm

The new headquarters for Edel Music AG are located in a five-story building designed by Antonio Citterio and Partners along the river Elbe in Hamburg, Germany.

The volume of the building is based on a Master Plan in which a lowered garage structure aligned to the street is topped by several office building facing the river.

The Edel headquarters comprise 3300 sq meters of office space on three levels over a ground floor housing the reception, bar, restaurant and auditorium.

The first two levels are sitting completely on the podium, while the three upper levels cantiliver over the polder, overlooking the river.

The transparency of the ground floor indicates the public character of the interior: the space is extended to the outside terraces. The idea of the building is different from the usual office building, nearing the idea of the “campus” where young people have the chance to meet the employees of the company and communicate with visitors from all over the world.

January 23, 2012

horizontal skyscraper- vanke center | steven holl

the building under construction
image courtesy of iwan baan

steven holl architects with partner li hu recently completed construction on their horizontal skyscraper –
vanke center located in shenzhen, china. situated over a tropical garden, the horizontal skyscraper
spans as long as the empire state building is long.

the building looks as if it were once floating on a higher sea which has now subsided.
the large structure floats under its 35-meter height limit propped up on eight legs. being suspended
on eight-cores, as far as 50 meters apart, the its structure is a combination of cable-stay bridge
technology merged with high-strength concrete frame – a first for a structure of its type,
with tension cables carrying a record load of 3280 tons.

the decision to develop one large hovering structure instead of several smaller floating ones,
was to create views over the lower developments of surrounding sites to the south china sea
and to generate the largest green space possibly, open to the public on the ground level.
the underside of the skyscraper becomes the main elevation from which sunken glass cubes or
‘shenzhen windows’ offer 360-degree views over a lush tropical landscape. the hybrid building
includes apartments, a hotel and offices for the headquarters for vanke real estate co. ltd.
a conference center, spa and parking lot are located under large green, tropical landscape,
characterized by mounds which contain restaurants and a 500-seat auditorium. there is also a
public path which covers the entire length of the building, connecting the hotel, apartment zones
to the office quarters together.

as a tropical strategy, the building and landscape integrate several new sustainable aspects including a
microclimate created by cooling ponds fed by a grey water system. a green roof with solar panels
has been incorporated into the design and uses local materials such as bamboo. a glass façade
protects against sun and wind via perforated lovers. the building is tsunami proof hovering piece
of architecture that creates a porous micro-climate of public open landscape. it is the first
LEED platinum rated building in southern china.

image courtesy of iwan baan

image courtesy of iwan baan

a microclimate is created through cooling ponds fed by grey water
image courtesy of steven holl architects

stairways up from the ground level into the skyscraper
image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

perforated aluminum louvers
image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

aerial view – model
image courtesy of steven holl architects

structural breakdown
image courtesy of steven holl architects

horizontal skyscraper is as long as the empire state building is high
image courtesy of steven holl architects

a diagram indicating the views from the ‘shenzhen windows’
image courtesy of steven holl architects

‘horizontal skyscraper – vanke center’ by steven holl architects, shenzhen, china
image © designboom

designboom recently visited the ‘horizontal skyscraper – vanke center’ by new york and beijing-based firm steven holl architects,
while in shenzhen, china. lifted and oriented to direct views towards the nearby mountains, ocean and lake, the structure hovers
above maturing gardens and groves of native bamboo trees. the undulating terrain is now blanketed with greenery, as it was conceived
in early renderings by the architect.

pathways crossing through textured patches of long grasses weave through the site under the branching extensions of the building
leading to the outdoor sunken amphitheater and a central subterranean lobby. steel staircases create opportunities for visitors
to enter the elevated interior of the offices, hotel and apartments.

see designboom’s original coverage of this project here.

uppward view of a branch of the building
image © designboom

the undulating landscape converges with the structure
image © designboom

stairway leading into the building’s interior
image © designboom

steel staircases lead into the building from ground level
image © designboom

pathway passing below structure
image © designboom

facade and louver detail
image © designboom

sunken amphitheater
image © designboom

louver detail at the end of facade
image © designboom

mounded earth meets the underside of the horizontal building and then drops off to reveal a suspended office space
image © designboom

pathway passes through vegetated gardens
image © designboom

pathway crosses under the branching structure
image © designboom

bamboo grove at base of pier
image © designboom

clusters of inclined columns support the structure in locations where the landscape is level
image © designboom

(left) view through the branching horizontal appendages
(right) building reflecting within pool
image © designboom

January 22, 2012

endemico resguardo silvestre | gracia studio

‘endémico resguardo silvestre’ by gracia studio, valle de guadalupe, mexico
all images courtesy gracia studio

scattered along the sloping terrain of valle de guadalupe, mexico, ‘endémico resguardo silvestre’ is a cluster of twenty hotel rooms,
designed by san diego-based practice gracia studio. positioned within a landscape of vineyards, each ecoloft has panoramic vistas
overlooking the scenic valley below. placed upon steel stilts, the 20 square meter cubes hover above the rocky ground, minimally interfering
with the savannah continuing underneath. corten steel was selected to surface the small structures, aging with time to blend into
the rustic hues of the encompassing nature.

with each unit strategically oriented to unobstructed views directed towards the valley, guests may close their personal entry door
and feel isolated in nature. attached to each cabin, a personal patio and fireplace allow for comfortable lounging outside.
the 99 hectare complex is completed with a nearby winery and pool.

view from the sloping terrain below

overlooking the valley below

nestled into the rocky terrain

the facades of the cabins may be completely enclosed

personal patio adjacent to each structure

view from a cabin


(left) view from bedroom
(right) bathroom with predominantly black decor

(left) alternative interior
(right) interior with white decor

view of bedroom and bathroom

at dusk

seamlessly transition into the landscape

illuminated at night

warm fire overlooking wine country

pool area for the cluster of cabins

cabins illuminated within the landscape


January 22, 2012

The Cube | Park Associati

Architects: Park Associati 
Location: Milano, via Foscolo n.1 (Piazza Duomo), Italy
Client: Electrolux Home Appliances Emea N.V
Design team: Lorenzo Merloni (project leader), Alessandro Rossi, Alexia Caccavella, Alice Cuteri, Fabio Calciati_Rendering
Contractor:Nüssli AG, Hüttwilen, CH, Frieder Braun, Maurizio Ledda, Maik Rauch
Event Concept and Project Management: Absolute Blue
Area: 140 sqm
Photographs: Andrea Martiradonna

In 1972, Ettore Sottsass came up with a grand architectural scheme that took in the whole planet and was called “The Planet as Festival”. It was a highly utopian, highly visionary, highly radical project, as were many other projects from that time, known as the age of radical architecture. In the description of the project he highlighted the basis for which it was necessary to overturn conventional rules and go on to imagine a better (not only) architectural world….. there was nothing left for me to design, solitary, not group artist that I am – child of an era worried about the future – a degenerate child for I am not engrossed in the destinies which generated me, which political parties, armies and suchlike threateningly point out to me.

I thought there was no architecture left for me to draw, I mean there is no architecture left to propose, either as Andrea Branzi aptly says “as a model for society” or to put in the hands of society “as a psycho-motor activity” ……… Therefore I designed these projects as if they had been proposed by someone else – someone far removed from the trajectory of thought concerned with the city, since it considered that thought concerned with the city has up to now, only projected, wherever it comes from and wherever it goes to, the insane, sick, dangerous and aggressive idea that men must live only to work and must work to produce and then consume.

With my projects I imagined that something has been changed in the moral of the man “worker-producer” and that it is thought that men can live (if they want to) for the sake of living and work (if perchance they want to) to come to know, by means of their bodies, their psyche and their sex, that they are living………I know all this very well – not because I have invented it myself but because I have heard it all over the place, from young people, from poets, from many people who really work, from the oppressed, the alienated, the tired, Indian chiefs, Gurus, children, prisoners….that freedom can only come from the possible knowledge that each of us is living and that very slowly each of us is dying too. (taken from Casabella n° 365 May 1972).

Clearly the project had no consequence other than publication in Casabella that, however, influenced many generations of architects and designers. In the planet as festival, various elements of architecture appear, designed like kind and friendly objects sitting here and there on the planet, on the top of volcanoes, on craggy cliffs amid the rocky walls of the Grand Canyon, floating on the ocean or transported on placid river streams. The Cube project seems to have its roots right in that metaphorical world of Ettore Sottsass and is reminiscent of those amusing yet serious utopias of fifty years ago.

The idea is to build a small piece of architecture, a cabin, perhaps a nest, on high, at the top of a cliff, on a monument, on a public building, it doesn’t matter where but in a beautiful place and with a beautiful and original view. The idea is then to create a restaurant and welcome clients in an enchanting, unique place with sophisticated dishes cooked in Electrolux kitchens. The idea is to keep it open for six months and then change location, change city, nation, continent and reinstate this restaurant-type object on some other roof for new surprises, new menus, new clients.

It is one of those projects that open things up: in fact too often solutions resolve but do not leave space for the imagination, for innovation, for evolution. This ‘Cube’ that is not actually a cube, has a great proactive force and immediately presents itself for what it is: defying the paralysis of thinking and the imagination. Not only that, it also defies the immobility produced by the continual growth of bureaucracy in requiring the consent from the government, council, safety officers, heritage organisations, fire brigades etc. etc. If indeed standards are necessary and useful for ensuring better architecture, it is also true that standards have spread into all design choices to the extent that schemes are increasingly often an interpretation of the current regulations rather than a conscious creative act that gives continuity in the history of architecture.

November 28, 2011


November 28, 2011

Hilton Pattaya | Department of Architecture

Architects: Department of Architecture
Location: , Thailand
Principals: Amata Luphaiboon, Twitee Vajrabhaya Teparkum
Design Team: Picha Thadaniti, Wipavee Kueasirikul, Sutah Schonrungroj, Atirojt Rojratanawalee, Worawut Oer-Areemitr, Kanin Manthanachart
Lightning Designer: Dazzle Design
Project area: 1,650 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya

 is responsible for interior design of various common areas for Hilton Pattaya Hotel which includes the First Floor Lobby, the Main Lobby on the 17th floor, the Bar, and various common area and linkage spaces within the building. The hotel is part of a larger multi-used complex located in the heart of Pattaya, overlooking the Pattaya beach.

Lobby & Bar

The space for the hotel lobby and bar occupies the 17th floor, high above the bustle of Pattaya beach below. Upon entering the space from one end, as elevator doors open, one would enter a spacious lobby area. The architectural intervention to the entire ceiling plane, with its dynamic wave lines, leads the movement of the visitors towards the seafront beyond. The fabric installation on the ceiling becomes a main feature in the space while simple elements on the ground provide a tranquil atmosphere.

At night, strip lighting accents from above the fabric linear pattern. The whole ceiling volume becomes a gentle luminous source of light giving a fine ambient to the overall space.
At the end of the lobby space, the bar area is arranged linearly along the building edge parallel to the sea with maximum opening to the ocean view. Backdrop of the bar area lies a wooden wall with alcoves where the daybeds partially tuck themselves into the wall. Oversized and soft furniture provides comfortable and relaxing seating for guests to sink into. A full-wall mirror at the end of the long space doubles the visual length of the bar area.
Further in front of the indoor bar area is an outdoor lounge space with a large reflecting pond catching the reflection of both the sky and the droplet daybeds and lamps scattered around. From this area the space is opened up to the panoramic ocean vista and gentle sea breeze.
November 27, 2011

Hotel Liesma Proposal | PRAUD

The main concept of the proposal for the Hotel Liesma by PRAUD is to elevate the new hotel mass from the ground level. There are two major purposes of this approach; to have a widely open public park on the ground level and to provide better views to the Baltic sea from hotel rooms.


There are two challenging questions we had when we first met the project. First, what type of architectural form can strengthen the concept of the music hotel as well as this amazing landscape? Perhaps the architecture should not be an iconic building that tries to out stand itself amongst the environment, but a very gentle form that just sits on the site.

The next question was, is it able to bring nature into the site so that the whole site is conceived as park? To achieve this concept of a music park, having a landscape field in the left over space in the site is not enough, perhaps we need a more aggressive approach so that the music park we are trying to create is not something you can experience in other parts of the city.


Every single room in the new mass has a direct view towards the sea and has access to the balcony on the roof. This new mat-type mass is held by multiple cones that contain public programs inside such as, music cafe, restaurants, conference hall, and swimming pool. By having private hotel rooms separated from the ground level and public programs sitting on the ground, the whole ground level, which we call a music park, could be used as a dynamic and cultural park not only for the visitors to the hotel but also for all people who visit the city. Therefore, the music park becomes a new field for all those music concerts and festival of the city.

Additionally, by putting business class rooms and junior suites in the existing building, the hotel can be managed more efficiently. When it is in leisure season mostly for families, the hotel can only operate the new mat-type mass and couple of cones, while when it is for business conferences, it can mainly operate the existing building, conference cone and restaurant cone. This efficient way of using the hotel facilities will let the hotel run viably throughout the whole year.

Architects: PRAUD
Location: , Latvia
Project Team: Dongwoo Yim, Rafael Luna, Emily Ko
Client: Hotel Liesma
Site Area: 15,000 m2
Project Floor Area: 10,300 m2

November 20, 2011

conrad hotel beijing | MAD architects

‘conrad hotel’ by MAD architects, beijing, china
all images courtesy of MAD

construction for the the ‘conrad hotel’ by beijing-based architecture practice MAD architects is nearing completion.
scheduled to open in 2012, the venue will contain 300 guest rooms, recreational facilities, restaurants, a rooftop bar and
spa to break away from the bustling streets. although the complex is within close proximity to the lively pedestrian
shopping boulevard, wangfujing street, the immediate surroundings of the central business district are a conglomeration
of mundane office buildings whose exteriors are lined with a grid of curtain wall windows.

to contrast the established urban fabric, the facade of the hotel intends to revitalize the area and break away from the
monotonous rhythm by warping the orthogonal lines. similar to nervous tissue, the organic envelope changes in thickness
as it is stretched and wrapped around corners. the mass of the structure begins to gradually slope towards the entrance,
generating a welcoming atmosphere by inviting visitors inward while similarly revitalizing the city’s energy.

rendering at night

(left) under construction
(right) installation of facade
images © designboom

curtain wall installation

(left) rendering of facade
(right) installation of facade

ma yansong speaking about the project in his studio
image © designboom

elevation diagram

project info:

location: beijing, china
typology: hotel
site area: 7,779 sqm
building area: 56,994 sqm
building height: 106 m

November 20, 2011

The Cube Pavilion | Park Associati

Architects: Park Associati – Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi with Alexia Caccavella, Alice Cuteri, Lorenzo Merloni
Location: Brussels, 
Client: Electrolux Appliance Spa
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Park Associati

THE CUBE – dining with a view – is a pavilion designed by Park Associati to house an itinerant restaurant commissioned by Electrolux. Designed to be placed in unexpected and dramatic European locations, it will be launched in Brussels on April 1st, 2011 where it will sit atop of the Parc du Cinquantenaire, close to the headquarters of the European Community.

The restaurant will be active simultaneously in twin structures; the two Electrolux Cube’s will travel across Europe offering a memorable dining experience for 18 guests per setting in magnificent locations. The transparent and semi-transparent structures will be seen atop of buildings, monuments and even on water in Belgium, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden but only for three months at each location.

The interior of the THE CUBE has been designed to suit different arrangements; the pavilion consists of a large open-planned space with a visible kitchen and a single large table that can be made to disappear by raising it up to the ceiling to form a lounge area for use after eating.

The total floor area of 140 sqm is divided between the open-planned space and a 50 sqm terrace.

In the kitchen, fitted with high-tech appliances in typical Electrolux style, top international chefs will take turns in offering guests a show-cooking service with specially created menus.

THE CUBE has been conceived as a module that can be put up and taken down relatively easily, one that suits all climatic conditions, even the most extreme, while always expressing the maximum in living comfort with its refined aesthetics and use of high-quality materials.

The construction has the lightness and versatility of an exhibition stand yet with the design complexity of a building. It uses materials that are highly innovative in terms of technology, eco-sustainability and energy saving as well as enabling constant re-use.

The pavilion’s lightness of form is emphasised on the exterior by its white colour and given a sense of movement through the use of an aluminium “skin” that has been laser-cut to create a texture with a geometric design that covers the whole of the outer surface. The base of the building, slightly raised with respect to the ground, accentuates the idea of lightness and the cleanness of form that characterises the entire structure. Inside, more highly advanced technological solutions can be found in the lighting, heating, sound system and of course, the kitchen equipment.

November 19, 2011

Euralille Youth Centre | JDS Architects

JDS Architects have just shared with us their first French project in the city of Lille. The Euralille Youth Centre is a 6,000 sqm project that includes a youth hostel, offices and a kindergarten.

Over the past twenty years Lille has become a European hub; a destination for business and congress, a great place to study and live and also a tourist destination. It is a city with a turbulent history of conquest and reconquest, a heritage as an important medieval city and later the industrial capital. It is this history, the unique and striking presence of remnants of ramparts of the citadel, which the project seeks to mention.

Our project emerges from the idea of creating an urban catalyst, accommodating three distinct programmes on a triangular site. By placing a program in each point of the triangle we offer maximum privacy while allowing them a closeness and continuity of space, organized around a garden, like a cloister of calm in the center of the city. The lifting of the mass of the programme at the corners illuminates and activates the adjacent public spaces and creates a continuity from outside to inside the building.

Architects: JDS Architects
Location: Lille, 
Project Team: Antoine Allard, Renaud Pereira, Sandra Fleischmann, Weronica Wojcik, Felix Luong, Kamile Malinauskaite, Lea Fournier, Adrien Mans
Competition Team: Julien De Smedt, Barbara Wolff, Henning Stüben, Renaud Pereira, Heechan Park, Francisco Villeda, Wouter Dons, Felix Luong, David Dominguez, Leonora Daly, Priscilla Girelli, Marion Julien, Edna Lueddecke
Client: SAEM Euralille
Collaborators: Agence Franck Boutté Consultants, EGIS, SL2EC
Budget: 11,400,000 EUR
Size: 6,000 sqm
Status: Construction starts 2012
Images: Courtesy of JDS Architects