A Resort in the Hustle and Bustle of Urban City, Free of Dust yet Close to the City
The building site of this hotel is located in Taichung, Taiwan, neighboring one of the major circular elevated expressways.
Although the site is near the bustling commercial area, what the site actually faces up to is the unending wind noise generated from the vehicles passing through the elevated roads at high travel speed. Meanwhile, the west-facing facade of this building is another challenge as it’s the most disfavoring “western exposure” for Taiwan people. Generally, during the period from afternoon towards evening, people in Taiwan used to draw the curtains closed to reduce the sun flood casting through the west-facing windows of the buildings.
So, what we consider first is how to solve the problems of “western exposure” and “wind noise”. And our design concept “window view with trees in the balcony and the leaves swaying in the breeze” is inspired by “planting some trees over the facade of the building” and the “semi-recessed windows and balconies” to be the buffer that helps reduce the sun exposure and lower the noise nuisance at the same time.
Along the way of searching the suitable trees for planting over the building facade, we find out that the tree can stand up to the wind load on the higher floors of the building only if the height of the tree is about 4M to 5M with strong tree roots. However, the height of storey in a building is just restricted to 3.2M so that the idea for the window view of “two storeys share one tree” is born this way.
Now, as we’ve figured out the design strategy, what to do next is to design the layouts of guest rooms.
It seems this is not a good building environment through the analysis of the building site, but on the west side of the hotel is the well-known landmark, Dadu Mountain, which is located by the sea and there is not any high-rise building sitting between the hotel and it. With the gorgeous sunset scenery and nighttime landscape, the Dadu Mountain is one of the famous scenic spots in Taichung. Since we’ve had the trees to cover the weak points of the hotel site, we need to think about what people will do to fully enjoy such beautiful sunset and nighttime scenery. A stroke of genius coming into our mind is the concept of “private bathing with beautiful scenery” to make an ultimate lodging experience like being in Japan. Therefore, we take this concept to be part of the two-dimensional layout design of the guest rooms.
While carrying out the design task of “private bathing with the attractive sunset and night view of Dadu Mountain”, we simultaneously develop the architectural structure of the building. Eventually, we collate three ideas, including the “private bathing on the treetop”, “private bathing under the tree”, and the most popular guest room after the hotel opening – “oak barrel under the tree”.
By Taiwan’s legal restrictions on the area of the balcony, we cannot make a tree-embellished window view for all the guest rooms. Under such limitation, we have to carefully check and plan for the tree decoration between two balconies on the way of design. Consequently, the building facade is gradually transformed into the appearance of “island-hopping-style tree decoration”.
Allocating the two-dimensional space and compartmentalizing the spaces through the grille-style screen of light-and-shadow variation in the public areas make the elements of interior design echo with the building facade. With the use of the screens, the public space is divided into different and separate spaces where the guests stay at their exclusive spaces without disturbance and have a sense of security while waiting in the public area.