Modest bamboo hostel moulded around natural ventilation on island location
A private developer is looking to utilise a hostel in Southern China as a training centre and family retreat for corporate employees. Plans drawn up by Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design suggest a zero carbon complex (the fourth in a series created by the studio) which optimises the ventilation to a high degree, developing an innovative building configuration that acts as a large ventilation machine. These concepts have been designed with engineers Arup.
All 24 bedrooms in the facility are located on the first floor to improve ventilation and boost security, whilst communal areas such as the restaurant, bar, living room and conference rooms are spread across the ground floor. The chosen site is privy to ocean breezes from the south by day and land breezes from the north by night, in a humid, subtropical climate.
Ventilation is of high importance in this concept, as Zoka Zola Architecture expands: “The east-west orientation of the building ensures minimised heat gain while giving the best exposure to air movement. The raised roof casts shade on the building, protects the bamboo structure from rain and acts simultaneously as a refined and optimised wind catcher and stack vent. From a functional standpoint, the roof helps draw wind into the building and sucks warm air out from it. The roof shape flares up at the edges and thus increases the amount of wind that is caught, while facilitating air extraction on the opposite side of the building.
“The internal air-shafts distribute air to all enclosed bedrooms and bathrooms as well to the enclosed and open common areas beneath and around the building. As the wind direction changes during the night (north winds) and day (south winds) the system of air channels is specifically optimised to cool the building in each time period. The absence of ventilating any space in the building during any part of the day was not an option. Bamboo also has minimal thermal mass, a requirement for sustainable building in tropical and subtropical climates. All the blinds, shutters, finishes and furniture are also made out of bamboo. Beyond its strictly functional uses, bamboo has extraordinary aesthetic potential to create dynamic forms, lighting effects and texture.”
The architects on this project are Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design, working with MEP and Structural Engineers Arup, and Cost Estimator Rider Levett Bucknall.