Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Mountain Breeze Resort in Latakia, Syria by Ark-kassam Architects
July 15th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ark-kassam Architects
Amongst the scenery of the majestic mountains of Latakia and in harmony with the Local surroundings and environment, ARK-Kassam architects designed the Mountain Breeze resort as a lead pioneer project of sustainable architecture in Syria.
Mountain Breeze Resort is located 950m above sea level, perched at Al- Qlayla Village, 40km north-east of Latakia and 30 km from Basil al-Assad international airport.
The resort is organic in its relationship to the site and surroundings and is committed to preserving the environment through sustainable operations guided by overarching goals and values.
The design is influenced by the inherent constraints of the local architectural style of the area, concerns of environmental impact and cultural sensitivity and careful observation of indigenous materials, climate and landscape. The architecture is local yet contemporary.
The building was designed to match the surrounding landscape and to blend with the existing site features and environment – all ground level building masses contain a natural texture which connect to the character of the surroundings and achieve the desirable sustainable level.
Local stacked stones have been used in all buildings facades, roads, tiling, interiors and landscape retaining walls and edges.
The designs of the Chalets – which are located 300 meters west of the main building – were stimulated in concept and form from Alraesha; Stone wall separations in-between local woodlands and farms which surround the area. The stone was quarried locally and transported to site where 70 local village masons help construct the Chalets.
A plan was created which set out targets to reclaim and purify the local rocks, plants and wood in neighboring farmland to become suitable for organic agriculture to serve the resort with organic products. This was in keeping with the sustainability ethos of the overall project scheme. The guests are given the chance to enjoy locally-made rural organic food at the resort restaurants facilities.
Glazed walls have been introduced to the scheme of the project to let natural light into the building and to visually connect the guests to the surrounding landscapes and breathtaking scenery.
All exterior hardwood timber has been recycled from reused power cable poles knowing that this type of wood is rare and hard to find in adequate sizes and quantity. This recycled timber offered a valuable resource for the project.
All other project materials, including teak wood, glass, aluminum, papyrus mats, and canvas – along with custom-made furniture – have been brought to site and been installed with the help of the local Syrian village masons, carpenters and craftsmen.
Three construction phases were set to form the overall project and were constructed during an 18 month period.
The summer restaurant area which was designed to welcome 150 people.
A wooden tree top walkway bridge across the pine forest which connects the main building to the restaurants facilities.
The Boutique hotel which contains 13 suites a 50 – 70 m2,Gym facility, spa, pub, pool area and indoor swimming pool with a panoramic façade that overlooks the breathtaking scenery of the lush green mountains. On the top level of the resort stands a kids playing area which includes versatile game facilities.
Another aspect of the project is the outdoor infinity swimming pool which visually connects to the sea beyond giving the feeling of continuity and dissolving into the horizon.
Other main entities: business center with lecture hall, a meeting hall, roof terrace restaurant which has a fantastic view over the Mediterranean Sea.
22 Chalets with Green roofs located to the west of the main resort building,
Stored solar energy is used to provide hot water and to charge solar lanterns for the landscape lighting.
Contact Ark-kassam Architects