27.2.2008

Hotel Sotelia

Wellness Hotel Sotelia fills the gap between two existing hotels, both of them not hiding their different architectural origins. New hotel is not trying to summarize samples from near by structures but rather clearly distances itself from the built environment and connects, instead, with its natural surroundings.

In design process primary concern was to avoid immense building mass, like the one suggested in the client’s brief, which would have blocked the last remaining view of the forest. The volume is broken up into small units arranged in landscape-hugging tiers. As a result, the four storey 150-room building appears much lower and smaller then this description would suggest.

The specific shape of the hotel was dictated by the folds in the landscape. The unique structures offers passer-by some strong spatial experiences: from the front, the building is perceived as a two-dimensional set composed of parallel planes placed one behind the other; a walk around the hotel reveals entirely different views of the timber facade, from a plane vertical wooden slats to a rhythmic arrangement of balconies and wooden terraces.

While the exterior is relatively serene, the interior is more dynamic and expressive. With principles like blurring the clear line between inner and outer space its connection with nature remains the most important and consistent feature. Each room has a private balcony with carefully directed views over green roofs which offer the impression of close proximity to the ground, even from the forth floor.

As in clear division of program based use of materials on the outside also the internal programe can be read in the use of materials. Wooden paneling and soft carpeting for private spaces, screen-printed glass and grey terazzo floors for public areas. The public programe is spreading as single open space throughout the hotel defined by slite changes of materials an by numerous bamboo-encased columns. And it is these columns – tree trunks by day and pillars of light by night – that divides the open public space into more private areas and attract the traveler.

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