Sustainable elements and architectural expression are winning factors for Innhouse
WAN is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 WAN Hotel of the Year Award is the Oval Partnership-designed Innhouse in Kunming, China. This stunning eco-guesthouse is designed to act as a self-contained community for travellers and offers 17 luxury suites in a series of L-shaped forms, cupped by leafy natural foliage and intimate courtyards.
For our 2012 Hotel of the Year judges, Gregoir Chikaher, Director and Global Hotels & Leisure Sector Leader at Arup, Luis Zapiain, Head of Hospitality at HKS, and Miguel Ruano, Vice President of Design & Engineering at InterContinental Group, the winning submission ticked all of their boxes.
Zapiain explains that The Oval Partnership’s Innhouse project ‘covered all the bases of what we were looking for: innovation, experience for the guest, use of material, the way it sits on the land, and the image it gives for China as an emerging country in the travel market’.
One thing that struck all of our judges was the contrast between the Innhouse scheme and the scores of glittering tall towers that have become associated with Chinese architecture of late. They enjoyed the fact that a project of this modest nature could still flourish when spiralling structures dominate much of the architectural media that comes out of China.
Great attention has been paid to every detail of this sustainable hotel project, its timber clad walls complimented by reconstituted bamboo decking and the specific choice of building materials deliberately selected to reference the local setting. Zapiain continues: “The architectural expression is fantastic; I mean the use of proportions and materials is great.” The Oval Partnership has formed each building unit from three masses linked by a viewing bridge, with each guest suite incorporating a cantilevered balcony.
For Gregoir Chikaher, the green aspects of the entry won his vote: “I think there were some excellent entries and I was also very pleased that a number of entries had sustainable attributes which is very important nowadays.”
The Innhouse relies heavily on natural ventilation and daylighting to reduce its energy demands, with rainwater recycling and greywater reuse employed throughout. The material choice was also a winner, with reconstituted bamboo having low embodied energy with habitat preservation and the highly insulated envelope further reducing energy dependencies.
Congratulations to The Oval Partnership!