Intercontinental International Hotel & Business Center – Yerevan, Armenia / Luís Banazol Architect

About the Project / by Luís Banazol Architect:
LOCALIZATION
In a high point of Yeveran, which is a privileged and highlighted zone, the new INTERCONTINENTAL complex will become an important city reference.
Having this in mind, we developed a building that tries to represent the image of a dynamic brand, looking to the future, searching for innovation, environmental friendly and client oriented.

Taking advantage of the local characteristics, associated to the contest program and the elements above described, a creative project was developed to best show the idea we want to explore.


CONCEPT

Art expresses the way that people live and think. It represents our own existence. Technology transports us beyond that existence. We can feel her everyday in our homes, crossing the planet, connecting everything and everyone.

Each person is an island in a map drawn by those connections.

It is a universal web that connects all the elements. That net exists from the vacuum to the infinite, making us real and meaningful. It is architecture as a material expression of an idea. Dots that unit themselves in complex and geometric relations. Lines that cross themselves, creating tension and directions. Volumes against each other’s, compressing and expanding space. Encounters and miss encounters, permanent intersections. Information being transported in a constant process of interactivity.

A metaphor to a transcendent lightness and a myth of inversion to the law of gravity. Bases that suit in instable balances. High tech materials showing the future. And the light, finally controlled.

Man over matter. Art and technology acting together. The image of a universal net reflected in space in a unique object. Space and light become one in an experience we are part of. We belong to such a space, we feel it with all our senses. We are that net. This building is that relation come true.

FUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION
The project is developed vertically, with a square as base of the two buildings that make the global structure. The interior is lowered to create courtyards and two extremes are lifted to create the entrances and accesses. The main circulation is done by ramps around the courts. In the lifted zone are the main accesses to the hotel and apartment towers. This zone was rotated in order to accentuate the entrance.

The project is developed, as it is understood, in a directional net established on space, creating a complex web of geometric relations, upon which lays the organizational space scheme and its subsequent functional organization. This develops in such a way that emphasises the movement of users in space, putting a big aim in circulations, both vertical and horizontal.

The hotel lobby, developed in width, concentrates the thick of distributions, receiving the traveller in a way that it can flow – to the more public areas or more private zones, near the lobby.

The entrance courtyard establish a relation between the interior and the exterior of the building, and trough it we can enter to all the facilities is has to offer. It is the main spot of the project, the base to the concept.

Besides the column of vertical accesses, the reception, back-office, a core of bleaching installations, the links to the spa and to the business centre, in the right side of the atrium we have an area to spa and fitness and in the left side the reception to the business centre.

Both connect to the upper level, trough a ramp around the courtyard, were they complete the rest of the missing program.

In this floor, exists also a lounge area, bar, restaurant and it’s respective kitchen with a service connection to the basement – floor-1.
In the two floors in basement are located the storage and backup service zones, area dedicated to load and unload and some technical areas. In the upper floors are the rooms: hotel room, junior suite, senior suite, major suite and presidential suite, existing a great leakage that unite them and lighten the space, and a service column.

In the building of serviced apartments, we take advantage of the courtyard to make a small commerce zone, which has two columns that give access to the apartments. The first floor has, besides some rooms that flows trough the tower, a bar space with a service column that can be connected to the hotel building trough the basement.

The basement is used exclusively as a parking zone, having only some technical areas.
The conference centre, the hotel and the spa are fully independent, but it is possible to access to all the areas from the hotel.
The hotel tower is turned to the main street of Yerevan, Teryan St, southeast, and the apartment tower is turned to the city, east.

FORMAL EXPRESSION
Has it was mentioned before, we pretend that this building will became an architectural mark in the urban scenario of the city.
So, we looked for a formal expression that gives a real dimension to the materialization of the concept, presenting and establishing strong bonds with the population, trough an image draw heavily on the exact principals that designs an iconic object.

The expression of the concept, in his materialization act, points to the creation of an object that claims itself as a synthesizes product of art and technology, in which we contribute strongly to the making real of this idea.

The façade becomes a fundamental element to the iconic expression of the building and it’s affirmation as a reference in the urban context.
This expression is based in the realization of high-tech constructive systems, that develops themselves according to the conceptual principals stated before,

in a way that grant extreme unity to the venture.

The use of a metallic mesh combined with bamboo/ nativebamboo – in a conceptual process of insistence about the net theme – establish the substance inherent to the search transfiguration and the overcoming of material subjects.

NATIVEBAMBOO
The beauty of natur originally an industrial product. Nativebamboo, the new, visionary mesh type of the innovative mesh genre Nativemesh combines the exotic flair of the natural resource bamboo with the minimalist elegance of woven stainless steel. The innovative metal mesh with woven-in bamboo poles is the impressive product of latest experimentation with materials by this German medium-sized enterprise renowned for its spectacular product developments. Equally suitable for indoor or outdoor use, Nativebamboo opens up a whole range of potential applications. In different thicknesses and with varying warp cable pitches – depending on the specific requirements – the special construction does justice with astounding natural elegance to the general ideal of sustainability.

A wire mesh has been fascinating architects and builders all over the world for almost two decades now. Transparent or opaque depending on how the light falls on it, this woven “skin” merges with the lines of the architecture and offers ever-changing interpretations. The suppleness and formability of the metallic mesh shell reflect the dynamics of interior and exterior, making tangible all the facets and singularities of the building’s identity. In contrast, a bamboo grove, flooded with light and colour, is a profoundly sensual experience. The form, structure and spacing of the plants emanate a meditative calmness that is hard to match. The combination of stainless steel and bamboo in the innovative new genre of architectural and design fabrics, Nativemesh, exploits the unexpected synergies of the two materials – and creates scope for exceptionally attractive design ideas.

The characteristic properties of stainless steel are its robustness, its resistance to corrosion, fire, chemicals and weather, and its low maintenance requirements. The renewable resource bamboo, thanks to its physical properties, is in many ways a natural counterpart to stainless steel. With its great tensile and compressive strength, extremely hard surface and great elasticity, this trendy, exotic material has the perfect qualities of an all-rounder in construction. In spite of its low weight, bamboo has a greater tensile strength than constructional steel. Their high silicic acid content makes the bamboo stems extremely flame-proof, and the silicate layer formed by the silicic acid makes their outer surface harder than oak wood and resistant to chemical attacks. The two materials also have a lot in common from an ecological perspective. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable without quality loss and is neutral with respect to environmental influences. Bamboo grows by up to a meter per day and is thus one of the fastest growing plants. It achieves its full height within a year and lignifies from the third year on. The plant is felled after three to five years, thus conserving the much slower growing forest resources. Even after clearing, bamboo reproduces and spreads rapidly via underground runners, and thus effectively prevents soil erosion. And there is a further aspect in which the sustainability and environmental compatibility of this wonder grass are hard to surpass: bamboo produces considerably more wood and oxygen than trees, and there is hardly a plant that binds carbon dioxide as fast or in such quantities as this green giant. For these reasons, bamboo counts as the ideal alternative to wood in many applications, and as the resource of the future.

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