Mist Hot-spring Hotel / Department of Architecture co.


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  • Architects: Department of Architecture co.
  • Location: Xuchang, Henan, China
  • Lead Architects: Amata Luphaiboon, Twitee Vajrabhaya Teparkum
  • Design Team: Chaiyapat Mirasena, Chanlika Boonpha, Waraphan Watanakaroon, Waraluk Kuiprasert, Passawee Vongcharoen, Penlada Somjaidee, Kawisara Anansaringkarn, Yada Pianpanit, Thunchanok Sirichayaporn, San-ming Chou
  • Area: 37140.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: W Workspace
  • Engineers / Local Architect: KKS International China Co., Ltd.
  • Softscape Consultant: PELA Limited
  • Lighting Designer: in Contrast Design Studio Co., Ltd.
  • Branding / Visual Identity: artless Inc.
  • Main Contractor: Henan D.R. Construction Group

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Text description provided by the architects. The MIST Hot Spring Hotel is located near Xuchang city in Henan province. This region of China has been considered the nation’s most famous hot spring destination for over a thousand year. The best natural attribute of the site is hidden down below – it is China’s finest geothermal underground water. As the heated water is brought up, it gives off gently lingering mist floating above the water surface. The project attempts to heighten the experience of this mystic quality of blurring landscape through master layout design. The building masses, the passageways and the waterscape are strategically integrated with natural steam from hot-spring pools and some additional mechanized fog that would surround the overall atmosphere and experience. White mist floating just above water surface not only creates dreamy ambience but also provides certain level of privacy for guests relaxing in private hot spring pools from other guests’ view.


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Master plan

Master plan

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In central China, a combination of white snow, somber sky, and leafless trees results in a monochromatic picture with a rather gloomy impression for the most part of winter. The project is our attempt to create a unique way to “colorize” our guests’ experience. The inspiration came from the colorized black and white films in the early 1900s when the artist hand-painted transparent layers of colours onto black and white films, frame by frame.  The result was surreally colourful since the colours were not at the objects, but seemed afloat in the air. The idea of dyeing the space with colorized light onto monotone surface was adopted into architectural language. The facade of the building is doubled with three dimensional lattice structure, filled with shades of blue and magenta glazing. This system gives depth and colour complexity to the façade, and combines balconies into a single architectural element.   The architectural and interior surfaces are kept monochrome to receive and heighten the effect of the coloured light painted upon itself through the coloured glass. As sunlight shines through the facade, it floods the space with colourful light while at the same time; the coloured glass brightens up the gloomy sky while looking out from the inside.


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Here, colour is used as a three-dimensional architectural element, not as finishing material, to create not only unique visual but also space.  


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Our inspiration for interior design also came from the beauty of the hot spring steam itself.  Architecturally-scaled site-specific installations exploring natural phenomenon relating to mist and water are designed and installed throughout the hotel as the main elements that tie the entire experience together. These visually impactful installations are not added as decorations, but inseparably integrated into architecture and interior space.


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