Over the past years, ‘desert tourism’ has become a fashionable trend in China. The authorities consider it a good way to give a boost to areas which not so long ago were economically depressed. This is the case of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, whose vast deserts, practically uninhabited before, now offer sought-after attractions, such as camel racing or desert surfing. In one of these oceans of sand, the Xiangshawan Desert (not far from the Ordos Desert), is this hotel, a building whose strict geometrical floor plan contrasts with the immensity of the dunes that surround it as far as the eye can reach. Consisting of the repetition of a triangular module in a series of rings that, from a bird’s eye view, is reminiscent of the shape of a lotus flower, the building is actually inspired by the yurts of the Mongolic peoples – ‘prefabricated’ homes with wanderlust, ready for adventure in the deserts – because the hotel’s modules hardly rest on the floor thanks to a unique ad hoc foundation system that works without need for concrete or water. Completely prefabricated, these modules have a very light metallic structure, are clad with ventilated panels, are covered with an immaculately white textile membrane, and have access to systems that guarantee energy self-sufficiency, e.g., photovoltaic and thermo-solar panels and tanks.
Xiangshawan Desert Lotus Hotel, Dalad, Mongolia interior Inner Mongolia (China).
PLaT architects / Satoshi Maeda, Qiao Wenke, Dao Huiling, Li Doudou.