Kengo Kuma & Associates,
The permanence of changing
Located in Vilamoura, a coastal resort in the south of Portugal, the proposal was greatly inspired by the Algarve’s fossil cliffs and the Arabic construction heritage in this region. These references were the starting point of a beautiful narrative about topography, new vernacular and sense of society. With a mixed-use program, the project comprises a hotel, touristic apartments, commerce, leisure and sport zones. The design integrates the building’s morphology in the natural context as if it has always been part of the natural site. Unique relations with the surrounding landscape were created by decomposing the construction area in several volumes and mimicking the cliffs’ topography and natural erosion. This tectonic approach produces an interesting dialogue between the material’s mass and the inhabitable voids and informs the hotel’s typology and program. The Hotel is the central ‘rock’ of the project.
The spaces are fluid and permeable, reflecting the exterior surroundings in the interior of the place. Natural materials and light tones are used, searching for a sense of serenity. The tourist apartments respond to the desire of creating ‘pockets’ of outdoor spaces discovered in the wandering paths between the buildings. Their composition allows to get the best views and sun exposure. A unique wooden roof is proposed in the commerce area, covering two volumes of distinct but complementary programmes: a grocery store and a bike centre with cafeteria. The outdoor spaces, including a swimming pool, sports area, plaza and a walking area, integrate different programs in a continuous and multifunctional ecological structure, using traditional vegetation and materials. Water was used as a means of promoting climate amenity, creating a scenography of serenity and meditation, in perfect symbiosis and permeability between the built space and nature.