Biophilic

Rooted interest

From hotels in trees to hotels covered in trees, we hope this green trend continues to grow


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Treehotel
Edeforsvägen, Sweden
Architect: Snøhetta
Client: Britta and Kent Lindvall
The 7th Room at Treehotel is located in the treetops overlooking the Lule River

The 7th Room joins six other guest suites, all contained within treehouses, that make up the Treehotel in Edeforsvägen, Sweden.

The 7th Room was designed by Norwegian architecture studio Snøhetta, providing a unique perspective of the Northern Lights from a forest canopy. Hovering 10 metres above the ground amongst the trees, the 7th Room is a traditional Nordic wooden cabin with a large netted terrace suspended above the forest floor.

The unusual hotel room is supported by 12 columns, and a large pine tree extends through its central void. Up to five visitors can live in the space, which has a social lounge area, a bathroom, two bedrooms with beds embedded in the floor and an outdoor terrace – where guests can sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag.

“The design aims to bring people and nature closer together, extending the cabin’s social spaces to the outside and further blending the distinction between indoor and outdoor,” said the architects. “With complementing light and wooden furniture, the interior makes up a blonde Nordic contrast to the dark exterior.”

Previous Treehotel suite architects have been Mårten Cyrén, Inrednings Gruppen, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Tham & Videgård Arkitekter and Sandell Sandberg.

A ‘blonde’ interior serves as a contrast to the dark exterior of the structure PHOTOS: Johan Jansson
The design of the cabin aims to bring the guests and nature closer together
Oasia Hotel Downtown
Singapore
Architect: WOHA
Developer: Far East SOHO Pte Ltd
More than 50 plant species help create a green and growing hotel building PHOTOS: K Kopter

Singapore-based WOHA is famous for its garden hotel, Parkroyal at Pickering, and followed its success in the city’s central business district. Launched in 2016, Oasia Hotel Downtown is covered in a permeable aluminium façade, allowing creeper plants to take hold of the red structure and grow and thrive, over time transforming the building into a towering green ecosystem.

WOHA sees the design for the 314-room Oasia as a prototype for hospitality and commercial tower blocks, and says the concept “moves beyond vague notions of sustainability by fundamentally embracing living systems into a mixed-use programme — one that grows, rather than exhausts a city’s resources.”

The façade is made up of 21 species of creepers to make sure it’s lush and resilient during different weather conditions. A further 33 species of plants and trees are used throughout the hotel, becoming a haven for birds and animals in the city.

The permeable aluminium facade allows creeping plants to attach, grow and multiply
WOHA hopes the concept will inspire future buildings
1 Hotel and Slo Living
Paris, France
Architect: Kengo Kuma / Marchi Architects
Developer: Compagnie de Phalsbourg
The building will be fronted by a planted promenade and act as a ‘green lung’ for the neighbourhood IMAGE: LUXIGON

An eco-luxury hotel and adjacent next-generation youth hostel are under development in Paris, in the Rive Gauche district, which aims to become a bastion of sustainable architecture in the city.

Kengo Kuma has designed 1 Hotel, embedded within planted terraces and suspended gardens at various levels to “create a green lung for the city”. The complex will include a sports centre, bar and restaurant, business zone and co-working space, as well as a public garden that will complement the nearby garden of the National Library.

The related hostel, Slo Living, was designed by Marchi Architects.

Atlas Hotel
Hoi An, Vietnam
Architect: Vo Trong Nghia
Developer: DANH Co Ltd
The building will be fronted by a planted promenade and act as a ‘green lung’ for the neighbourhood IMAGE: LUXIGON

Hoi An’s old town has experienced rapid growth and an increase in tourists since it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is famous for its traditional architecture, featuring tiled roofs and small courtyards. The nearby Atlas Hotel is a new development that seeks to capture the charm and tranquility of old Hoi An and the dynamic emerging Hoi An.

The five-storey, 48-room Atlas Hotel has many internal courtyards and deep planters which make up the hotel facade, allowing greenery to provide the rooms with solar shading, while the perforated stone walls allow light and airflow through but keep the space cool.

The hotel offers a restaurant, café, rooftop bar, spa, gym and swimming pool.

Vo Trong Nghia says: “The use of these green and natural elements embodies the particular interest of the office and the House for Trees concept: to integrate greenery into design as a way to rejuvenate urban areas and to contribute to societal improvement.”

Qiyunshan Tree Hotel
Qiyunshan, China
Architect: Bengo Studio
Client: ZYJ
The property comprises two bedrooms, a bathroom, lounge spaces and roof terraces

Stacked timber volumes form the structure of Qiyunshan Tree Hotel, a small accommodation in the heart of the Huangshan mountains in China’s Anhui province. Designed by Shanghai-based Bengo Studio, the hotel features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room in its 120sqm space. The top level is a ‘landscape room’ providing unobstructed views of the lush scenery. Reaching 11 metres high, the hotel is the same height as the surrounding red cedars.

The ‘landscape room’ is the top storey, where hotel guests can enjoy the forest view
Mountain Forest Hotel
Guizhou, China
Architect: Stefano Boeri Architetti
Developer: Guizhou Wanfenggu Ecological Tourism Development Co Ltd

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has designed a tree-covered resort property in China’s Guizhou province. It’s part of Wanfeng Valley, a sustainable district that’s being developed across 20 hectares in Xingyi City, Qianxinan.

The property is part of the Cachet Hotel Group and will be the centrepiece of Cachet Wanfeng Valley ‘lifestyle destination’ – its first resort development in Asia. The building will feature a 182-room Cachet Resort Hotel and a 71-room URBN hotel, two restaurants and lounges, a swimming pool and fully equipped fitness centre, as well as a Cachet cSPA – an environmental and design-led concept created by consultancy and management firm WTS.

Boeri says the vertical forest model promotes wellness and creates sustainable urbanisation. “Research has enabled us to develop building technologies to bring trees high up in the sky and irrigate them with recycled water. This advancement, alongside ongoing analysis of the vegetation that can thrive in these environments, allows us to conceive unique buildings specific to their locations.”

Stefano Boeri’s designs for the Cachet Wanfeng Valley feature trees on every terrace
Rosewood São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil
Architect: Jean Nouvel
Developer: Allard Group
Flowers, plants and trees drape the public and private spaces, terraces and rooftopsn

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ first project in South America, this São Paulo hotel has been designed by Jean Nouvel as a “vertical park”. Located at a city building that was formerly a maternity hospital, a 90-metre tower with a latticed steel facade will rise next to the historic building, and will be covered with landscaped terraces.

The plant- and tree-covered hotel will offer 151 guest rooms and 114 private residences, with interiors designed by Philippe Starck.

Two restaurants – one on a veranda overlooking the lush hotel gardens – a bar, a caviar lounge, a rooftop pool and another outdoor pool in the landscaped grounds, a large spa, fitness zone and luxury retail will all be available onsite.

Nouvel is using the neighbouring Matarazzo Park as an inspiration. “It is an oasis. It is a place of urban calm,” he says. “When building at the edge of this park, the best response is undoubtedly to belong to the park and to allow the trees to invade the new construction as well.”

Eventually it will be covered in trees like those in the park, such as fig and magnolia trees.

The vertical garden provides a sense of continuity between the hotel and its surroundings IMAGES: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

company profile
Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Hospitality: High standards
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

The International Spy Museum is RSHP’s first cultural building in the US
Stephen Barrett (left) 
and John McElgunn (right) were both made partners at RSHP in 2016
"Leisure space – public space – is at the very root of democracy, and architecture is about democracy"

As RSHP completes its latest cultural project, we speak to two of its partners about why Richard Rogers isn’t leaving his succession to chance

The guest rooms provide views across the quarry
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

features
The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

Scott and Tracy Lee met while working on Calistoga Ranch, US
Scott Lee became president of SB Architects in 2000. Tracy Lee founded TLee Spas in 2015
"We design to connect the guest to the place, positioning people at the centre of the design"

Architect Scott Lee and spa consultant Tracey Lee on marrying the worlds of design and wellness in a series of interesting projects

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

features
Elizabeth de Portzamparc
"We need to stop the destruction of our world through predatory practices. We need to think of the future"

The architect behind Nimes’ Musée de la Romanité on designing to counter loneliness and the need for more cultural buildings

The book was published in 2019 by RIBA Publishing
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

cladkit product news
Tom Dixon Rock collection inspired by Dixon's travels to India
The Rock collection is made with green marble and was inspired by Tom Dixon's travels to India
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer studio, Tom Dixon Studio has launched a new collection of marble sculptures inspired by his frequent trips to ...
Arlon Graphics debuts architectural collection
Arlon's architectural range is aimed at interior designers looking for innovative and affordable renovation solutions
Lauren Heath-Jones
Arlon Graphics, a plastic and vinyl manufacturer based in The Netherlands, has launched a range of architectural graphic vinyl films ...
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
cladkit product news
Pelle DVN Table inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry
The DVN Table was created using Japanese joinery techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Jean and Oliver Pelle, the husband and wife team behind New York-based design studio Pelle, have created the DVN Table, ...
Tino Seubert x Theodora Alfredsdottir lighting collection inspired by mid-century furniture making traditions
The Corrugation Lights were inspired by midcentury and post-war furniture making techniques
London-based designers Tino Seubert and Theodora Alfredsdottir have teamed up to create Corrugation Lights, a lighting collection inspired by midcentury ...
nea studio showcase seaweed's design potential with hand-crafted algae lamps
The seaweed lamps were inspired by Edwards Anker's ethos of incorporating local and organic materials in her designs to give them a sense of place
Lauren Heath-Jones
Nina Edwards Anker, a Brooklyn-based designer and founder of architecture and design practice nea studio, has created a new collection ...
cladkit product news
John Pomp Studios expands Tidal collection
The Eclipse Pendant light was inspired by the lunar eclipse
Lauren Heath-Jones
John Pomp Studios, a design practice based in Philadelphia in the US, has expanded its Tidal collection to include five ...
Space Popular creates video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate in South Korea
Gate of Bright Lights was designed to show visitors how screens and digital interfaces have replaced physical objects the gateway between us and the rest of the world.
Lauren Heath-Jones
Multidisciplinary design firm Space Popular has created a video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate at the Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, ...
ZHD'S MEW Coffee Table explores relationship between surface and structure
The MEW Coffee Table is described as an investigation into the relationship between surface and structure
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with Italian furniture design firm Sawaya & Moroni to create the Mew Coffee Table. The ...