The Dameisha resort is a research and recreational complex that provides guests with access to educational, conference, lodging, and sports facilities within a dramatic natural setting.
The principal program elements - the Conference Center, Hotel, and Villas are located on the Southern face of a steep hillside. To harmoniously reconcile buildings and landscape, the architectural forms are inspired by geological processes - namely convergent, transform, and divergent interactions. Once developed these tectonic maneuvers provide the spatial and formal framework to house program within the varied site conditions.
The convergent interaction produces a stepping effect which merges conference and reception areas while providing a clear threshold between the public courtyard below and the private hotel above.
The transform interaction is the product of shearing along a fault line. This condition houses the hotel program and features volumetric shifts in section that produce cantilevered terraces to the south, and sheltered walkways to the north. The transform interaction also creates openings along the length of the hotel, providing for views of the landscape and for vertical circulation.
The divergent interaction is applied to the villa program. Here the house diverges from the central line of circulation maximizing views and producing lighter residences at the crest of the hill.
Listening to the nature
In the subtropical climate, it is critical to have intelligent interfaces between many district micro-climates. In the same way that a jungle has many sectorial characteristics due to the layers of canopy, it was imperative to design soft boundaries that effectively orchestrate the weather throughout the built and natural landscape, rather than simple curtain wall conditions. Thus, the inspiration for designing a harmonious landscape comes from the essential elements that define the Dameisha nature.
Water - a pervasive and elusive site ingredient asserts itself as a promising tool for the organization and interlacing of program elements. Water sweeps across the face of the mountainside as vapor, flows and pools down the hillside as streams, and solidifies and holds deep below the surface as ice. The three states of water are associated with phases. In this way, there is a clear relationship between the enlightement - oriented, light programs above and the more regimented and grounded, solid program elements at the base.
Earth - In plate tectonics each plate consists of a surface that splits in two at a fault line. Subterranean forces create the subsequent transformation and divergence of the earth's surface. Each condition offers unique spatial and formal opportunities for design that provide a bridge between the existing site conditions and programmatic requirements of the build complex.
Plant - The anatomy of the leaf embodies the negotiations of earth and water, exterior and interior, the multitudes of interiors and subensembles. The cellular organization of the leaf illustrates a tectonic syntax that has been adopted, translated an employed in effort to develop an architecture open to adaptive variation.