I am intrigued by the desire to build vacation places where conditions are considered unmelcoming. Is this, by necessity, the wave of the future?
Have you seen the new Bond film? (me neither) They blow up the ESO hotel. The ESO is primarily used to house scientists working at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. Conditions there are extreme. It sits on top of a mountain in a desert (zero humidity) with average wind speeds of 25mph (40KM/hr) and temperature ranges from about 14F to 80F in a single day (-10C to 24C), oh and one last thing…regular earthquakes of 8.5 on the Richter scale. To keep guests happy they built a steep tropical garden inside the 115 ft-wide transparent dome. This circular courtyard, decorated with palm trees and cactus plants, runs down to a 30ft swimming pool. It is beautiful.
Then there is the Hotel Aire de Bardenas at the southernmost part of Navarre (Spain). The site for the four-star hotel is a wheat field, near a spectacular natural park with semi-desert landscape and again, lots of wind and too much sun.
Those wooden bales are used locally to transport the harvest, but have been re purposed as windbreaks.
I love the creative ingenuity that has gone into these and I love that the architecture was strongly lead by the nature of the landscape and capturing the views, but am not sure I want to go for a stay. What do you think?
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