Gallery: Tanzanian Hotel Inspired by Rock Formations


Not many people would be envious of you if you were living in a cave — but they might be a little envious if you stayed in this hotel, located in Tanzania and designed by WOW Architects. The hotel is comprised of two buildings and its overall design was inspired by geological processes that shape rock formations in nature. It is no surprise that we are fans of the greenery that spills out of the buildings’ windows, but we also found the concept development of this project quite interesting. The architects were inspired by nature’s way of creating hills or mounds, and how these hills are eventually inhabited by living things.

Dubbed the “House of Peace”, the project is composed of a textured concrete that appears as if it were sculpted by the elements. When we first observed the set-back of the windows, we couldn’t help but think that it does, in fact appear to be a giant rock formation with interior cavities that could be the contemporary interpretation of the cave. The concept, grounded in geological science, manifests itself into two “mounds” or buildings with flowing gardens that grow out from the windows of the building. In their diagrams (see below), the architects explain the design development as if it was a sculpting exercise backed by geological fact.

It begins when plate tectonics force mounds of land up, creating hills. The hills are then eroded by weather, creating texture and variation in the surface of the hills . Over time, sediments settle differently on the surface of the hills which creates what we know as stratification. During this time, seeds are deposited into nooks and crannies in the hills which allows green to grow all over the hills. Inspired by the power of the elements to sculpt the hills in the natural world, WOW architects have designed these buildings to mimic the random grooves and angles found in nature.

The orientation of the buildings was planned so that sunlight enters the interior courtyard in the center, providing a warm and inviting space for hotel guests to mingle. This layout also gives residents access to views of city, sea and harbor. The interior of the hotel is less accounted for, but we love the project’s use of living green walls. An interior view shows a flight of stairs sheltered only by glass panels will certainly make guests feel as though they are walking up into the light.

Although we admit this is not the first building to show abundant green foliage spilling out from its sides, we’re intrigued by the structure’s geologically inspired design. There’s something quite poignant about staying at a hotel that was inspired by the same natural processes that creates mountains and ridges. Here, guests can have a rather unique experience while they look out through their setback windows and verdant frame, and feel like they are staying in a very bright and well-lit cave with all the modern conveniences.

+ WOW Architects

Tip via Abhishek Pandey


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  1. Godwin October 11, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Nice design,
    Which part of Tanzania is this Hotel located? Complete address please?

  2. AED May 11, 2009 at 9:09 am


  3. Nick Stubbs April 30, 2009 at 1:38 am

    looks good but i find most people will easly mistake it for a run down carpark overgrown with plants.

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