Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

December 13, 2017 by  
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Beijing-based Vector Architects recently transformed an abandoned sugar mill located deep in the mountainous region of Guangxi into the stunning Alila Yangshuo hotel . The architects retained and repurposed much of the sprawling 1960s complex. The old sugar refinery was built in a remote area tucked into the mountainous Guangxi region, but had been abandoned for years. The original complex was comprised of a cluster of buildings that ran alongside an elongated truss used for loading sugar cane onto boats. From the onset of the project, the architects wanted to retain as much of the sugar mill’s original character as possible by repurposing the existing structures and adding new buildings that would enhance the existing industrial architecture. Related: Renovated Sugar Refinery to Provide Sweet New Homes in Brooklyn To create a contemporary addition to the former industrial complex, the architects added gabled masonry structures to the original buildings, strategically blending the old with the new. The main building now houses the hotel’s reception, a cafe, a bar, a multi-use hall, a gallery and a library. At the heart of the new hotel is a beautiful reflecting pond and sunken plaza that was formerly the sugar mill’s loading area. A series of new blocks with gabled roofs were built around the mill to create the guest rooms. Throughout the design, hollow concrete blocks and board-clad concrete with perforated surfaces pay homage to the original construction. “In order to create a sense of consistency, instead of simply copying the old materiality and texture, we try to seek this nuance where we use more contemporary materials and construction methods while retaining the tinge and masonry structure of the old.” explained the architects. “We kept the profile of the new buildings as simple as possible to avoid unnecessary distraction to the old sugar mill caused by overly expressive geometry.” People come to the region to enjoy the spectacular scenery, so the layout of the guest rooms is focused on communing with nature. A large building called the Sugar House Retreat features luxury rooms with private balconies that offer stunning views of the mountains. The Garden Townhouse has suites that face the ponds or ground floor suites that look over a serene bamboo garden. The hotel’s social spaces and guest rooms were designed by Ju Bin of Horizontal Space Design to further connect the new space with its industrial roots. Surrounding the guest rooms and winding through the complex is a series of paths that were designed to be open-air lobbies – either for private reflection or socializing. The woodsy spaces were inspired by the caves that are found in the surrounding mountain range. + Vector Architects Via Dezeen Images via Alila Yangshuo Hotel

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Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

Gorgeous Belize eco-resort will be 100% carbon neutral

December 13, 2017 by  
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A new eco resort in Belize is pulling out all of the stops to be the Caribbean’s first carbon-neutral luxury lodging. Itz’ana Resort & Residences will feature a green building portfolio unprecedented in the area. The complex – designed by Boston-based architect Roberto de Oliveira Castro – will consist of multiple four- and five-bedroom villas, built with locally-sourced materials and completely powered by a combination of solar and hydro-electricity. The complex will offer 50 resort suites and 46 waterfront residences located on a heavenly 16-mile long stretch of Caribbean shoreline. The sustainable design of the resort was created by Boston-based architect Roberto de Oliveira Castro in collaboration with NYC-based interior designer Samuel Amoia . The program is reflective of Itz’ana’s “Mission-Driven Luxury” concept, which envisions a lifestyle that is as sustainable as it is high-end. With luxury beach lodgings in the Caribbean obviously high in demand, the Itz’ana design caters to travelers and homeowners who want to experience the beautiful region, but without leaving a harmful footprint on the environment. Related: Nevis is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral island Each of the villas will be equipped with rooftop solar panels , which will cut energy and consumption in half. Although the resort will source the remaining energy from Belize’s national power grid, that energy is generated by eco-friendly hydroelectric dams. The resort will also work through its Belizean forestry partner to offset any additional carbon emissions that the complex produces. Along with its clean energy sources, the complex will also be installed with various sustainable features such as a rainwater collection system, LED-efficient lighting systems, and an organic garden. Additionally, the building materials will consist of locally-sourced wood and designer furnishings throughout the buildings. An eco-friendly system will be used to clean the pools and green cleaning solvents will be used in the laundry service. + Itz’ana Resort & Residences + Roberto de Oliveira Castro

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Gorgeous Belize eco-resort will be 100% carbon neutral

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