Gem Of China: The Amethyst Hotel
China with its already sparkling reputation for building unusual hotels has set in motion plans to build a chain of jagged, hollowed luxury hotels inspired by the raw amethyst gemstone.
The first Amethyst Hotel is planned for construction on “Ocean Flower”, a manmade island currently being developed in the sea north of Hainan. Avoiding the standard system of internal corridors leading to rooms, entryways to rooms will be threaded along the outer perimeter of the building. Windows, sheathed in tinted crystalline shards, will face towards the building’s central atrium and the horizon beyond.
Views into opposing rooms would obviously be discouraged by designers of this luxury hotel... Learning from such examples of the Shangri-La hotel opened in London’s Shard skyscraper, but NL Architects, the Dutch architect firm behind the designs, is confident the project will work successfully as a rollout. While "hotel rooms lining a sensational void" would be a shared feature; the next Hotels to follow would differ and offer their own originality as assured by the designers.
Amethyst was initially considered as an appropriate form of architectural inspiration because of the spiritual significance it holds. Traditionally in China it was believed to bring good fortune in war and to inspire the intellect. Medieval European soldiers also believed its benefit and wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed.
As startling a structure as it might appear to foreign visitors, the Amethyst’s bold design won’t seem completely incongruous when viewed alongside some of China’s other unconventional hotels, all aimed at the higher end of the market.
Showcasing beautiful architectural designs: The Songjiang Shimao Hotel, about an hour from Shanghai, is built from ground level down into the walls of a quarry and will incorporate a 100-metre-high waterfall; Dailan's Luxury Collection hotel The Castle is a German transplant inspired by Bavaria's Neuschwanstein. In Huzhou, the Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is a horseshoe-shaped hotel embedded into a lake, while the forthcoming Sunrise Kempinski Hotel outside Beijing is an immense disc, wedged into a hillside and intended to resemble a rising sun.
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