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RETHINKING ARCHITECTURE. CREATING A PLATFORM FOR ARCHITECTS & STUDENTS TO EXPLORE THEIR CREATIVITY

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THE BRIEF

This design challenge asks for an inspiring sustainable hotel that will sit high in the Pre-Pyrenees mountains gazing across the dramatic landscape within the Les Guilleries natural park, Catalonia.

The challenge is to create a sustainable, environmentally conscious structure, or set of structures that sit peacefully, teetering at the edge of the cliffs, providing an emotive experience for visitors. The design should take its inspiration from the natural setting and connect with its surroundings, allowing visitors to have an immersive experience, both inside and outside of the hotel, of the dramatic scenery and wildlife that surrounds them.

THE SITE

Tavertet is a small mountain village at the top of the Guilleries Natural Park, nestled within the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees mountains. The Pre-Pyrenees consist of large groups of low, undulating mountains at the base of the much taller, much sharper Pyrenees, which create a natural border between Spain, France and Andorra.

 

The village of Tavertet is extremely well taken care of by its (just over) 100 citizens. The older buildings are well preserved and the newer buildings pay tribute to the ancient architecture the village hosts.

 

The Tavertet region is home to remains of a 12th century castle, and most of the town's historic centre was erected in the 17th and 18th centuries. The historic centre is now listed as a Site of Cultural Interest.

1st PRIZE

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SETSUZOKU

101 Design Studio

Usman Haider , Hossam Anwar , Ammara Majeed

Winner Sau

THE WINNING DESIGN SCHEME

SETSUZOKU

 

Design Process


Using the natural environment, we have kept the topography in mind in order to create an urban scape which gels in with the cliff. As to the design schemes light was kept as a crucial factor in deciding shapes and natural light slits all over the design scheme.

 

  • An architectural statement was considered for the current times allowing people to view the meditation space, A stone monolith with peeking light voids stands as a giant reflection plane bringing in a stark presence yet camouflaged with the environment.


  • A ramp leads users on a journey from the entrance wing, which hosts a restaurant serving users with local cuisine and the option to cater locally picked fruits and mushrooms by the guest. Underneath that built surface is a cantilevered pool jutting out of the cliff overlooking the valley.


  • The ramp envelopes an open landscape region which serves as an auditorium for communal events and produces internal pockets with BBQ spaces for the guests. Guest suites are placed on increasing levels with the cliff topography with half units on the cliff and half of them built into the mountain, accessible via the landscape area and ramp.


  • A voyage on its own at the end the cantilevered Rupu, serves as the climax of the site, where users can ascend their view and take in the grandeur of the valley, the environment before them.


Materials


Beams and posts using a hybrid of reclaimed wood and locally enabled steel structures are used in the hotel promoting the reuse of material and generation of raw materials from nearby surroundings rather than sourcing them from outside.
Sub Mediterranean Oak & Pine will be the primary source of reclaiming materials. In humid scenarios local mushroom population will be primed to be used for Mycellium cladding on the surfaces allowing guests to add to the identity of the hotel on their trail pickings.

Summary


The environment on site asked for a hybrid-built intervention that respects both mother nature and the user coming into the site. The Setsuzoku enables us to create that connection between what was and what would be. A sustainable approach to a simple concept of Connection.