Haitang Bay in Sanya, Hainan province, is the southernmost city in China. The region’s tropical climate has generated a massive influx of Hong Kong residents and international travellers in recent years as investments have spawned a wide breadth of development focused on resorts, leisure and supporting civic infrastructure. The development and urbanisation planned for Haitang Bay offers an open, unimpeded context for design that provides the opportunity to explore new ideas in tropical architecture.
The design for Haitang Bay Resort seeks to merge nature with built work, immersing the visitor within the sought-after coastal landscape by means of architecture and planning. The project’s layout builds upon the proportions of the nautilus, often considered a symbol for the beauty of nature — a spiral that extends radially from a source centre point. In following, the hotel and its territory are organised among six guestroom pods planned concentrically about a crescent-shaped core building that houses reception, function rooms, ballroom, and eateries; this sequence of organic shapes avoids the conventional large scale, single-form approach to beachfront hotel planning, and is alternatively divided as a means of engaging guests more closely with a landscape of greenery and water.
Each pod varies in volume and occupational density according to guestroom type and level of privacy, planned as rings of units about central atria. Vertical and horizontal green elements in atria serve as a series of communal and private guestroom gardens. Viewing apertures operate to merge these gardens with each guestroom, extending built space into green space. Outer irrigation rings coil around the green pods to provide water to the vertical gardens. These rings are layered upon the outer shell of each pod in an asymmetrical manner that accentuates an organic character.
The architecture of Haitang Bay Resort is eco-centric project and responsive to the environment: the green pods are elliptical in plan and clad with envelopes of porous louvers to facilitate cross-ventilation and capitalise on sea views; timber and a range of locally-sourced natural materials are utilised to minimise impact of constructed work on the landscape; solar panels at the roofs, geothermal energy, sea water and groundwater heat pump cooling systems are employed to efficiently manage natural resources.
Completed design in 2008