Sheraton Dameisha Resort
Commissioned by the Kingkey Group as the international design architect, TFP Farrells designed a hotel that is integrated and responds to the natural surroundings, challenges normal conventions and to provide a resort hotel of contemporary modern design as a local iconic landmark. The Client’s brief requests a destination luxury resort development consisting of 368 guest rooms – each with spectacular ocean views, exhibition and conference facilities, restaurants, wellness spa facilities, fitness centre, swimming pools and two luxury private villas, whilst maximizing opportunities offered by the beach topography and magnificent scenery. Located on the largest and closest public beach to Shenzhen, it is the only hotel that's adjacent to the beach allowing guests to walk from hotel directly onto the beach. The resort is managed and operated as a five-star development by the Sheraton Hotel Group. The inspiration for the hotel design is derived from the “aura` which is the perceived invisible force surrounding the site, the concept is embodied in the natural and ephemeral qualities of the surrounding geographic and environmental elements which generates a distinctive atmosphere and unique “spirit` and sense of place, referred to in roman mythology as the protective spirit of a place known as “genius loci` . The natural characteristics of the Dameisha “aura` of the ocean, waves, winds and surrounding mountains act as a framework and are embodied in a building form that has a distinct spirit, dynamic and organic form with a sense of movement that responds to the Client brief, site and in harmony with natural elements. The planning of the hotel is the result of a thoughtful, rigorous creative design process based on a single-loaded-single-aspect building approach aligned in the East-West orientation with the long axis of the site to maximize ocean views and the southerly aspects. The public corridor is on the mountain side whilst the hotel rooms are on the ocean side. The constraints of the site boundary, set-backs and height limit meant that a straight building mass with single aspects was too long for the site. This created an opportunity for a curved plan shape, which conforms to the site set-backs and maximizes beach frontage with all rooms having ocean views. The building form, planning and massing follows a sinuous and fluid flowing shape there are no right angles, everything is set out radially with curves which creates numerous twists and turns with different vistas and views that is reminiscent of waves, a sine curve and the silhouette of the mountains. The landscape is an extension of the architecture and is fluid with existing wetland park adjacent to the site, complements the order and arrangement of the landscape, and the hotel’s wave shape integrates into the surroundings to create a symbiotic relationship and sense of place. The unconventional curved radial arrangement of the building plan is very complex and the setting out geometry is composed of various radii which was a major design challenge and extremely considered. It was a great achievement to simplify the arrangement such that there were only 5 different room types of standard guest rooms, which are either concave or convex in plan shape. The Client brief required a minimum clear frontage of 5 m at the outer glass face, unobstructed ocean views, a 2 m wide balcony, luxury five fixture bathrooms and no over looking. The 45 m2 guest rooms are larger than the standard requirement for luxury 5 star resort hotel which are flexible and large enough to accommodate a mix of occupancy layouts, the challenge was to make them efficient whilst maximizing the number of rooms. Whilst the plan shape appears organic and free flowing the hotel functions are organized and ordered with a distinctive and identifiable head, body, and tail, corresponding to the West, Middle and East. The desire to create a more dynamic building form incorporating a sense of movement led us to modify and vary the height of the tower roof by elevating and angling the building mass at the head, it is lifted higher as a cantilevered structure creating a void area underneath which makes it a more prominent feature, containing the executive and presidential suites. Different scenarios were considered to investigate how the cantilever structure could be supported by various structural solutions, which ranged from a singular massive super-column to leaning tapering columns. From a structural point of view this was complex and a major challenge, in the end three V-shape columns were used to support the 30m cantilever curving structure. The roof form and mass undulates, with the highest point at the head followed by the body which accommodates the more regular standard hotel rooms, a void was introduced into the body of the building as a covered outdoor space that allows permeability and air movement through the site, and the tail angles downwards to create a tapering form containing executive rooms with outdoor garden terraces. The hotel experience begins at the entry to the site with a meandering journey along a single lane road lined with palm trees which reveals glimpses of the building’s undulating form. The guests approach the porte-cochere and enter the atrium lobby entrance which is a grand spatial volume that makes the single greatest impact upon the guest, visitors know they have arrived and the expansive view of the ocean beyond adds to the wow factor. The atrium lobby entrance is the central heart and marks the arrival point of the hotel - a non-linear geometric shell structure supported by the circulation cores and the ground, with a 50 m span and height of 35m. Although the geometry of the structure is asymmetric, it is based on a geodesic dome shape that allows a self-supporting structure without the need for internal columns. Inspired by the majestic natural surroundings of the ocean, wave and mountains, the design embraces elements to create a sense of place, embodied in a sculptural building form that has a distinct spirit, an organic dynamic shape evoking a sense of movement frozen in time as the “Fertile Moment.`

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