Bama, Guangxi, China
Eco-tourist resort – 9,500sqm arrivals building and natural water theme
plusClovers was hired in 2010 to work on two key areas of an eco-tourist resort that intends to be a flagship project for China demonstrating how architecture can both re-work and reinvigorate sensitive habitat sites. Using innovative construction methods and design processes both projects “far” the existing terrain of the site finding its latent potentials. Clad using a custom terracotta tile that is intended to blacken over time the arrivals building is mostly below grade, flanking the river. Comprised of a series of earthen disc-skylights, daylight and artificial light emit different colors from the “native habitat garden” through skylights in to the floors below. Managing storm and gray water, the garden is a collection point for tourists where glimpses of the major landmarks and tourists below are revealed. Cantilevered over the river, the building harnesses the sensorial aspects of the site. Using water’s reflection, sound and the color of the vegetation above, the building immerse guests prior to their boat journey to the hotel. An archipelago of differing speeds, depths, colors and textures of water, the therme area is set at the base of Baimo cave. Sprinkling landscape, lighting and small changing room buildings through a network of paths, the therme uses small and large pools to coordinate differing zones of privacy and spa activities in the river.