WAN Awards 2015


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Cliff_hanger Hotel, Grand Canyon, United States

Friday 29 Oct 2010

Over the edge and off the grid

HKS, Inc. 
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15/12/10 Alex Njoo, Melbourne
The project is unquestionably dramatic, structural gymnastics at its best. However, is it ecological sound, that is, does the cliff face deserves such an invasive (architectural) statement? Where will it all end, an hybrid of geodesic domes on the face of the Pyramids, or an organic structure of glass and steel on the humpback of Uluru in Australia? I'm really not sure that that's the purpose of architecture, however interesting it may be. We have award winning houses with geometrically designed facades and (even) tall structures that contribute nothing to the climate change debate, do we continue to design to feed our ego?
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Award Entry

HKS present their nail-biting design for a new hotel at the Grand Canyon 

Responding to a call by the John Hardy Group and the Hospitality Design Group, for Radical Innovation in Hospitality, Cliff_hanger Hotel is the ultimate hotel experience based on the concept of suspension in space and immersion in environment. With its modular design, the experience can be recreated in many locations across the world. Such locations could include the Golden Gate Bridge, California’s redwood forests and an ice fissure in the Andes.

Each hotel will follow the same principles of suspension and immersion, with emphasis on minimising the ecological footprint on the site. The idea is threefold; get in quickly and efficiently, enjoy the location, then remove all traces of the hotel and human impact as one leaves. As the prototype to a growing list of potential locations, Cliff_hanger establishes qualitative goals rather than seeking to influence individual project program or methodology.

Guests of Cliff_hanger Grand Canyon West Rim arrive by car or helicopter atop the cliff. Entering the organic pathway offering a framed window to the Grand Canyon, guests will be directed to a state-of-the-art elevator that will transport them down to a dramatic 4-storey glass lobby–the pinnacle of the hanging structure–overlooking the Grand Canyon below. Cliff_hanger includes 27 guestrooms with colourful local accents and materials furnishing the rooms.

To provide electricity without tapping the electrical grid, cliffhanger unfurls a solar-tracking photovoltaic array that rests on the canyon rim, collecting energy from the tremendous natural resource of the sun, while welcoming guests and visitors with a visual clue to the ecological sensitivity of the hotel. Sized to accommodate the electricity needs of the hotel, this array shares the same minimal site impact as the hotel itself, using modular components for scalability to particular locations.

With analysis and consideration of the ecological character of a location as well as the natural resources inherent in the site, Cliff_hanger seeks to challenge existing hotel norms and inform a new way of thinking about travel, leisure and enjoying the vast richness of the wonders of our natural world. As the prototype to a growing list of potential locations, Cliff_hanger establishes qualitative goals rather than seeking to influence individual project program or methodology.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
HKS, Inc.

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