Flow as urban effect
Wallpaper’s Best Business Hotel 2012
Amba is a 200 room boutique hotel inspired by its exciting site Shimenting— a place of vibrant youth energy, dizzying signages and high foot traffic— The hotel’s design concept interprets the seething chaos of the dynamic site into a 10-story urban effect of flow patterns visible from blocks away.
Refurbished from a derelict, 30 year old shopping mall, the massive urban block was overhauled and replanned as a budget hotel for young travelers and backpackers. Room numbers and layouts were constantly adjusted by the clients to align with their business plan over a very tight construction schedule, so the elevation design must react immediately to any, and frequent changes underway. Scripting is used to derive the flow pattern on the building quickly and “naturally.” A highly effective means to change in tandem with the client’s business unit regarding window numbers and sizes, the design method also systematize and rationalize the existing ad hoc openings and vents. Scripting used here absorbs facade irregularities as movement criteria, then maps them into quantitative parameters, to finally transcribe them into construction drawings for the facade.
Sandwiched between tall buildings, the Street Salon is the outdoor urban lobby and bar entrance to the hotel. It is wrapped in a skin of custom polyester fringes that flow and sway to the wind, the “fringes” are a fire rated, upgraded reinterpretation of the tawdry yet ubiquitous fringe netting used in Taiwanese parking lots and gas stations as sun shading. After dark, the fringes are transformed into a soft haze lit by fiber optics that flicker like twinkling stars.