Hotel harnesses tidal energy to generate electricity. Re-defining the hotel typology by embracing renewable energy to create a sustainable environment. This is the last of three tidal projects using the project brief to further underline the importance of inter-disciplinary dialogue between architecture, engineering, renewable energy and industrial design.
The hotel is located on Yalong Bay, on the island of Hainan in the South China seas. Along the bay’s coastline there are sheltered areas but also sections which are a high energy site exposed to winds and high waves, this is where the harmonic turbine hotel sits, partly anchored into the coastline’s rock with it’s elements free to gently move with the tide.
Revolving water turbines are partially buried in the sand, respond to tidal waves creating a sustainable infrastructure as part of the hotel’s design. The Harmonic Turbine hotel’s primary goal is to combine hotel design and programme with renewable energy, by using industrial and mechanical turbine engineering this project creates a sustainable hotel typology which embraces the multi-disciplinary aspects involved in the future of hotel design.
Currently hotels rely mostly on peak holiday seasons to be able to make a profit, however the nature of this hotel design will allow it to produce its own power in order to keep it running all year round and be able to return surplus energy back into the grid, contributing to the environment by producing usable energy for the surrounding area.
No longer will a hotel cater for travellers alone but it will also support its immediate environment. I am looking to develop a type of hotel which contributes to the environment by producing clean reusable energy, the hotel is an energy plant as well as a wellness facility; all technology and building materials are fabricated from environmentally clean materials.
The pipe water turbines are part of the hotel landscaping, they are semi-buried into the sand but exposed to the South China sea which washes over the turbines in order to produce and store energy back into the hotel and the national grid, this will create a step-up energy production hotel, not only contribute to the environment it also works as a capacitor as the entire scheme slightly moves in the tide.
Pipe water turbines follow a spiral of paths into and around the hotel, the layout of these tidal turbines resembles natural tidal sand ripples and creates enclosures like the rock pool bays for guests.The idea behind the hotel came from rock-pools and tidal power, to design a hotel which dips into the sea just enough to catch the tide whilst being able to sway in the current. The entire experience is that of a surfing, beach hotel with sections of the hotel submerged during high tide.
The hotel consists of two interlocking steel frame aluminum clad elements. Similar to the hull of a boat these elements are lightweight enough to gently sway with the tide but strong enough not to break. The main entrance platform is accessed by stairs and a ramp leading to the turbine hotel’s foyer or bedrooms via an entrance hatch, which descends into the viewing chamber that is partially submerged.
The harmonic turbine hotel foyer leads from the entrance hatch into the submerged viewing chamber which is connected to the 30 en-suite spa bedrooms, each bedroom has a privacy glass-clad panel which makes the guests feel as though they are in a partly submerged submarine, waves crash against the room windows with the tide whilst water turbine rock-pools define private guest pools.
The hotel is pinned into the sand using partly exposed open foundations which spiral into the substructure turning slightly with the tide. This movement helps harness renewable energy more efficiently. Source and images Courtesy of Margot Krasojević.
Article by Marco Rinaldi