Our approach to the architectural design of 1 Hotel Haitang Bay is a holistic process that could be termed “cultural placemaking” that stems from a seamless marriage of creative sustainability and hospitality concepts. The conventional sun, sand, sea and urban experiences are still very present, but their importance is lessened with the emergence of a number of special interest activities such as nature-based exploration, and narrative story-telling oriented experiences. Both these have broadened the customer base, creating appealing destinations for sophisticated and discerning guests. They are health conscious and are generally much more conscious of environmental and sustainability issues. They seek to travel and associate with others who share similar values.
The project, a considered and careful renovation, transforms an existing structure with some merit to suit a more sustainable tourism model in order to navigate and embrace “the new normal” whilst providing a new centre for the neighbourhood that fosters social exchange in a natural setting. The vision we sketched began with a short yet ambitious target — to create unique, sustainable and inspiring experience that redefines what a hotel in the 21st Century should be. Bring both the global awareness of sustainable development, to a deep understanding of the local site, our design inspiration from day one has been deeply rooted in the vision of 1Hotels brand and the qualities of the island itself. The captivating design takes cues from local geographical features as well as the cultural and scenic backdrop of Hainan, while committing to the principles of sustainable travel that
the hotel brand is renowned for, the world.
The traditions and forms of the local vernacular context are much about a tropical-climate responsive design. Local wisdom has for centuries smartly applied passive natural cooling and ventilation strategies in building design. The results is a tropical aesthetic harmonious with the island lifestyle. Well-shaded structures, semi-open spaces, artisanal use of local materials are among the special characteristics displayed in the vernacular architecture. The contemporary reimagining of this tropical vernacular tradition involved emphasizing the “layering” of a passive design approach to create intersecting spaces with sensitively deployed fabrics. The architecture employs both shading devices with local vegetation and landscaping used for cooling—further blurring the threshold between interior and exterior. This presents an intriguing spatial experience that is both rich in texture and mesmerizing in detail, heightened by the poetic interplay of light and shadow. The layered design encourages a channeling of natural light and sea breezes nature through design. Further, our “100+ Gardens” concept is one of percolating lush landscaped gardens at key moments into the hotel’s architecture. Hence, the sustainability of our place making is as much about being in tune with the dynamics of the eco-system; an architecture open to the natural flux and change brought by the sun, wind, water,
Sustainability is not simply a slogan at 1 Hotels, but very tangibly embedded in the lifestyle and the visit. The organic food and seasonal produce served is locally sourced from a nearby farm. It might be a memorable holiday picnic say, in a lush mangrove tree courtyard—a memorable experience with the lightest of environmental footprints as part of a genuine sustainable culture. Further green measures reduce the environmental impact of the development. The hotel incorporates a number of sustainable technologies to achieve this, such as; rainwater recycling, greywater treatment and reuse, solar thermal hot water, construction waste management, use of recycled materials and environmentally friendly and low-VOC materials, with local species used for the integrated
landscape. Along with the imaginative passive sustainable design features the stories—“100+ points of interest” — endow each guest with a more personal experience during their stay. Indeed, a wealth of these are shared by social media. These shared memories interweave narrative threads from offline to online—thus virtually sustaining the place even after departure—thereby strengthening the enduring memories of the 1 Hotel experience. The result is a relaxed, comfortable, ecological, open, serene, imaginative and contemporary environment that confidently expresses the DNA of the 1 Hotels brand.