Gallery: H2Otel: Water-Powered Hotel Planned for Amsterdam

Netherlands-based architecture firms RAU and Powerhouse Company have proposed a super-efficient luxury hotel for Amsterdam that is powered by water. The H2Otel is a prototype for a new hotel typology that uses water as its main source of energy for heating, cooling, cooking, and the generation of electricity. While water is the lifeblood of the hotel, many other energy efficient strategies are included in the design to minimize energy use such as passive design, smart fixtures and appliances, and advanced climate control systems.

By nature, Hotels tend to be energy inefficient as they often maximize views at the expense of solar exposure. They also tend to have high cooling loads — rooms need to be ready to go at any moment for potential guests, so they are often cooled even when no when is there. RAU and Powerhouse Company want to change that with a more efficient hotel that still provides luxurious views and a comfortable climate. H2Otel, which is situated along the Amstel river, is a carbon neutral, net-zero hotel for a modern world that harnesses solar passive design to minimize heat gain in the rooms.

A creative arrangement of wooden lamellas on the building’s facade protects it from overheating, but still provides the wonderful views coveted in high-rise hotels. The interval of lamellas spreads out towards the northern facade, allowing more lighting and views of Amsterdam below. The edges of the wooden façade panels are clad with copper, reflecting light into the rooms and creating the ‘golden glow’ known from the paintings of the Dutch masters.


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