Located in Xiangshawan Desert, in the middle of Ordos and Baotou 800 kilometers west to Beijing, lies the Desert Lotus Hotel, designed by Asian architecture firm PLaT.
The building’s name derives from array of repeating square and triangular panels that resemble lotus flowers and also help to protect the building from wind and heat gain, while providing shade for the hotel’s guests. Local materials are sourced in this hotel’s interior as well as the structure. The lobby floor is filled with the exterior’s sand that has spilled over onto the entry. The walls take a majority of the load so as not to interfere with the ever changing wind blown atmosphere.
The architects used local materials within the interior design so that people get the full experience of the desert when staying at Lotus Hotel. For instance, through a series of experiments, they managed to invent a wall-covering material that is made of sand from the surrounding desert.
The form of Lotus Hotel not only blends in the desert, but also exhibits a power of the environment and itself. The architects used the traditional Chinese idea of ‘Zhen’, which is, in simple words, the art of repeating the same elements. Rotation of squares in the same angle created a series of triangles which made the form stronger. In consideration of structure, shading and wind, the architects have integrated function, form and landscape, resulting in a form of lotus.
This project aims to be an example of sustainable tourism in the desert and is part one part of a larger development plan, which PLaT Architects envisions as a net-zero desert city that takes care of its own water needs on site (via rainwater harvesting and gray water reclamation, we assume).