China's existing cities are bursting at the seams, so developers are building new cities as far afield as the vast and formidable Xiangshawan desert. PLaT Architects' Lotus Hotel is a prefabricated desert development that can be built without the use of water or concrete. The building is designed to be made from locally-sourced materials, and it generates its own electricity and water.
Located near the Hantai River 800 kilometers outside of Beijing, the 30,000 square meter Lotus Hotel is comprised of a series of prefabricated steel elements that are fixed in the fluid sands, which provide a kind of stabilizing element. Load bearing walls give the structure the bulk of its structural integrity, while a dazzling array of repeating square/triangular panels that look like lotus flowers provide shade and protection from the harsh elements.
Given the remote location, which makes transporting materials exceptionally difficult and inefficient, the prefabricated design slashes material use and mitigates the need for any kind of precious water or concrete. And local materials have been incorporated as well to further enhance the project’s sustainability, including wall coverings made from desert sand. The hotel is just one part of a larger development plan, which PLaT architects is striving to ensure generates its own water and electricity on site – resulting in a net-zero desert city. The hotel is slated for completion in March, 2013.
Via Arch Daily