Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Nestled on a spectacular dense hill with magnificent old pine trees and facing the East Sea of the Korean coast, the new Seamarq hotel at Gyongpodae is a one of a kind boutique hotel composed of two main buildings and supporting facilities scattered throughout the site. The Hotel tower is anchored to the summit plateau and located very close to the ocean as if it was emerging from the ground. In contrast, the Banquet Hall is embedded into the vegetation and integrated into the landscape.
A rich sequence of spaces unfolds as a procession begins from the approach on the main road along Gyeongpo Lake, passing through the entry court and gate to the hotel entrance plaza that is marked by the local vegetation. The ascending road to the hotel flows gently around the natural terrain through the pine forest offering glimpses and framed views of the Gyeongpo Canal and the Hotel. The tower is composed of two parts with a 4 story low rise base with subtle movements and angular shapes that follow the gentle curves of the topography and a 15 story trapezoidal tower comprising 149 guestrooms. Most rooms are laid out with optimum views of the ocean and the morning sunrise, while a few face the calm and serene mood of the nearby Gyeongpo Lake and the distant Taebaek mountains. A generous outdoor deck and promontory with an infinity-edge pool and panoramic views of the ocean is a signature space of the hotel on the fifth floor. Besides offering a place for social events, the sun deck acts as a transitional space between the low rise base and the high rise tower.
The porte-corchere framed by the Hotel building canopy and entrance to the Banquet Hall opens to a grand two story lobby lounge and bar facing the sea at ground level with a wraparound outdoor deck as an extension of the lobby. The views are unobstructed and maximized with indoor and outdoor spaces that flow seamlessly together. The restaurant is nestled into the existing landscape one level below the lobby and enjoys immediate and close views of the sea and the beachfront. The spa is one more level below, with calm and tranquil spaces open to the dense vegetation and landscape, with its form following the natural shape of the hill. A presidential suite is at the tower’s summit with a generous terrace and courtyard garden with open views in all directions.
The crisp angular shape of the building contrasts with the soft shapes of the hill and lower floors of the restaurant and spa. The building’s changing silhouette is perceived differently from various vantage points as floating balconies, articulated planes, varying heights and the overhung canopy of the top floor Presidential Suite are characteristic elements of the design. The exposed façade of the core is expressed with an irregular pattern that creates movement and balance. The forms expressed in a light and white color palette will make the building transform throughout the day in the interplay of light and the surrounding context.