The 13th China International Garden Expo Park is located in the famous historical and cultural city of Xuzhou. The park is surrounded by hills, creating a picturesque landscape. The Dangkou Hotel, as one of the significant supporting facilities for this garden expo, is situated on the southwestern slope of the park. To the north lies the main scenic area of the garden expo and the Hanging Water Lake, providing a broad and open view.
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Considering the resort nature of the hotel and the planning concept of the garden expo, the Dangkou Hotel has been designed following the principles of "green and innovation." It emphasizes the connection between the architecture and the Dangkou (a specific geographical feature), striving to maximize the use of the surrounding landscape resources. The design also focuses on the restoration of the mountainous terrain, providing a unique and eco-friendly stay experience for visitors.
A poetic expression capturing the vision and essence of the designer in creating the Dangkou Hotel：
"In the realm of the imaginary lies reality, Where substance conceals the void.
Gracefully escaping, leaning and emerging, Within its own garden it does abide.
With each step, a new scene unfolds, Peaks revealing themselves in timely grace.
Mending the Dangkou with artful skill, A masterstroke, nature's hand to trace."
To seamlessly integrate the hotel into the natural mountain and water environment, and to achieve a broader panoramic view, the architectural design employs a strategy of breaking down the whole into smaller components. These smaller volumes are artfully arranged at different elevations, creating a cascading effect. The voids between the suspended structures form a multi-layered three-dimensional landscaped space. Connected by walkways, these elements form a circular path leading from the hotel to the mountain's summit. This design not only repairs the fractured mountain terrain but also provides visitors with a rich spatial experience, including climbing, crossing bridges, enjoying lake views, and returning to the garden.
The site is located on the mid-slope of the northern side of the mountain, consisting of two terraces with an approximate height difference of 8 meters. The site is an ancient quarry, forming a Dangkou with hard geological conditions, making excavation challenging. Consequently, the design places the underground parking garage and logistics facilities on the lower terrace and positions the lobby and dining areas on the higher terrace. The guest rooms are flexibly arranged following the contours of the mountain, seemingly embedded in the terrain while maintaining an appropriate distance. This not only meets the requirements for setting up fire evacuation routes but also allows for the creation of spaces such as walkways and platforms, providing guests with a unique experience of intimate interaction with the cliff face.
In order to shield the exposed 40-meter-high cliff face and to provide expansive views for more guest rooms, the architecture extensively employs an elevated design approach. By raising the building height, hotel guests can enjoy distant views of the lake and mountains on the north side through the elevated spaces. At the same time, visitors to the garden expo can catch glimpses of the cliff face behind the hotel through these elevated spaces. This design strategy not only addresses the need for visual screening but also enhances the overall visual experience for both hotel guests and visitors to the garden.
At the fifth-floor elevated platform of the building, there is an aerial coffee bar facing the cliff. The lofty and spacious area provides a comfortable outdoor seating space for the coffee bar, creating an ideal spot for guests to relax and socialize. The coffee bar features a skylight at the top, allowing guests to gaze at the stars even when indoors.
Dangkou Hotel, on its southern side, faces another themed hotel across the mountain, separated only by a thin ridge. The design boldly proposes combining the two hotels into one, sharing space and operating together. The ridge separating the two hotels was blasted away, and a covered space was designed to connect both sides. This enables the interconnection of the first-floor public areas, underground logistics areas, and equipment areas of both hotels, achieving integration of equipment and sharing of functions, significantly reducing the operating costs. At the top of the connecting structure is a 10-meter-high multifunctional hall, linking the rooftop garden of Dangkou Hotel and the rooftop pool of the themed hotel. It can serve as a wedding hall, a unique library, or a fitness center.
Dangkou Hotel's elegant architectural design, featuring large spans, extensive cantilevers, irregular planes, and intricate connections, presented significant challenges for structural design. To ensure the flawless realization of the building, the structure underwent rigorous analysis and verification. For the high-rise portion, a structural system was ultimately employed, combining reinforced concrete core walls with square steel tube (H-section steel) concrete columns and steel beams. This framework effectively minimizes the cross-sectional dimensions of columns and reduces the number of diagonal braces, mitigating any impact on the layout of guest rooms.
In addition to the structural considerations, following the "green ecological" design philosophy, the building incorporates several advanced technologies to achieve a Green Building Two-Star Standard. These include BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology, modular design, rainwater reuse systems, daylight-guided lighting, and intelligent operations. These technologies contribute to the overall sustainability and efficiency of the building, aligning with environmentally friendly practices and earning the project a Green Building LEED Two-Star certification.
Adapting to site conditions, the Dangkou Hotel in Xuzhou Garden Expo Park allows the architecture to harmonize seamlessly with the natural terrain. It establishes a new relationship between the building and the environment, as well as between people and the landscape. While providing a unique and immersive experience for individuals, it also invokes a sense of awe and love for nature. It serves as a contemporary interpretation of the philosophy of "harmony between heaven and humanity," emphasizing the interconnectedness of people and nature, and reflecting a deep respect and admiration for the natural environment.