A Hotel Concept for Baotou

A Hotel Concept for Baotou

Photograph from magdeleine.co

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is getting to understand cultures from around the world and develop design narratives that not only speak to the cultural context of a project, but also establish a strong architectural vocabulary to build on. These writings are valuable tools for me to refine my initial thoughts, continuously check my design barrings, and convey my design intent to clients.

Here is a work in progress for a project in Baotou, Mongolia. For those who are unaware, Baotou is the single source for almost all rare earth minerals that are used in the production of computers, smartphones, and anything else with circuitry.

Our design narrative is derived from the shift in cultural significance of the local land. Previously an isolated beauty of rolling terrain, technological influences opened opportunities for Baotou to reinvent itself as the origin of modern life. This shift in international perspective has added a profound value to what has always existed beneath the earth. At its essence, this shift speaks to the importance of perspective and how the advancement of technology can increase understanding and appreciation beyond surface level impressions.

The hotel’s concept of perspective through technology is achieved as the design manipulates the guest’s understanding of interior space through the architectural expression of three story specific relationships.

Perspective in Scale: Macro to Micro (earth rocks to pixels) – Driven by Tech

Perspective in Materiality: Raw to Refined (matte and loose to glossy and tight/woven) – Driven by Tech

Perspective in Path: Foraged to followed (disorder to organized) – Driven by Tech

The hotel retains its cultural warmth through the perspectives acquired by the guest’s engagement with the resulting architectural vocabulary. Scale evokes echoes of grandeur and whispers of intimacy. Materiality provokes haptic engagements that lead to a sublingual understanding of identity and place. Path instigates decision making, exploration and eventual reflection. These human relationships remain constant as the organic connection to the increasingly artificial environment.


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