Plans for the eco-resort Qanat Hotel place it on a coastal, semi-desert strip in southeast Iran. Notably, it’s located near an existing qanat, a feature that sets the foundation for the entire design of the building.
A qanat is an ancient system that uses gravity to transport water from higher ground to lower ground. In this project, it will flow beneath the hotel for natural cooling in the desert heat without the typical evaporation that occurs on the surface. Additionally, the water will act as irrigation without the need for pumps. The design also uses the water for interior pools and fountains.
Labeled an ecotourism resort, Qanat Hotel relies on wind, solar power, and aquifers that honor traditional Persian construction while catering to a new generation of visitors. In addition to focusing on eco-friendly building practices, architect Margot Krasojević placed a high value on respecting the region’s cultural heritage.
The design relies on renewable energy to convert radiation into usable power. A large canopy is suspended above the hotel’s atrium pool. It’s flexible to move in the desert wind but stable enough to support the dual task of collecting solar power as well as condensation, which flows into the atrium pool below. The canopy also works as a shelter from the intense sun. The design reflects the marriage of traditional nomadic tents with the technology of modern semiconductors and micro conductors.
Towers built from striated flexible aluminum and GFRP (glass fiber reinforced panels) collect warm air and recycle it through the hotel’s lower ground floor, where evaporative cooling brings it down to a comfortable temperature for guests.
The hotel rooms are partly buried in the ground to maintain cooler temperatures via the qanat below. A punctured roof allows natural light to filter in and provides views from the inside out.
Images via Margot Krasojević