John O'Ceallaigh, The Daily Telegraph, July 24, 2013
China’s new horseshoe-shaped hotel isn’t the only unconventionally shaped hotel to gain publicity recently. Madrid-based architectural firm Ooiio has now released plans for the ‘Unbalance Hotel’, an unusual building shaped like a lopsided picture frame, hanging precariously off a cliff face.
Located on a plot outside of Lima in Peru, the building would look out over the Pacific Ocean and its designers have sought to draw attention to the dramatic view by using the form of the building to frame it. Rejecting conventional design, the practice claims a hotel “constructed in a traditional way would be a visual barrier… that could block the ocean view.”
Instead the Unbalance Hotel will make that vista a core selling point of the property and it is intended that the property itself will become a landmark for both Lima and Peru. The 125-room property will also contain a number of restaurants, conference rooms, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces. The design has been commissioned by a private South American client and has yet to gain approval from city planners. Should its construction go ahead, the building’s cliff-side location should present a number of development challenges and costs which are likely to be reflected in room rates once the property is open.
Construction of hotels into cliffs is, however, not without precedent. Also in China, the ‘groundscraping’ Songjiang Hotel near Shanghai is being built into the face of an abandoned quarry .
Images: Ooiio Architecture