by Jincy IypeDec 03, 2022
Intrinsically connected to its gorgeous context, Paréa Zion is an 'architecture-forward,’ luxury landscape hotel and retreat centre to be realised next to the Zion National Park in Utah, the United States. Spain-based Studio Andrew Trotter has imagined a series of monolith individual units, ranging from sprawling bungalows to elegant three-bedroom houses spreading leisurely throughout the 240-acre property, and centred around a bathhouse-style spa. The studio has collaborated with London-based designer, architect, and artistic director Charlotte Taylor, to conceive one of the custom houses, which will also be the first one realised for the digital artist. “The architecture is modern and prominent yet integrates seamlessly into the natural surroundings while highlighting stunning views of Zion,” shares Trotter. Imbued profusely with a tangible sense of transparency with nature, the hotel architecture proposes an open way of living and is set to open late next year.
Two entrepreneurs from the US contacted Studio Andrew Trotter with a proposal to build a boutique hotel emphasising architecture, nature, and wellness, outlining a brief to create a series of independent guest units accompanied by a common space focused around a bathhouse-style spa. “Even with a few changes over the past few years, we have maintained the original ethos,” Trotter tells STIR.
"Our aim is to bring the seclusion of a private residence together with the design and service of a boutique hotel to create a unique, wellness-driven experience,” Trotter shares with STIR. “The essence of the project is balance, both between nature and design and between independence and community. The simple, monolithic architecture blends in with the surroundings yet also makes a statement,” he adds.
Commenting on how the canyon-rich, red rock-filled location influences the hotel’s design, the Barcelona-based architect and designer tells STIR, “Zion National Park is a truly majestic place, and we are fortunate to be located next door. The awe-inspiring views, Martian colours, rock formations, and clear night skies create an environment that stirs innate feelings, reminding us that we are a part of nature. Paréa provides the opportunity to explore the basic ideas of what makes people feel their best through a non-dogmatic, physiological approach to wellness that will open people up to meaningful experiences and connections.”
“Paréa means a group of friends coming together to share their life experiences, philosophies, values, and ideas. This meaning formed the core concept and inspiration for Paréa Zion—to bring people together. We want to create the ideal environment to facilitate unique experiences, foster relationships both new and old, and promote self-discovery and well-being,” he continues.
An architecture of nature and togetherness
Before commencing the contextual design, Studio Andrew Trotter spent ample time on site, reading and studying the context. According to the multi-disciplinary office, understanding the nature of the place was one of the guiding aspects of the drawing board project. Besides being a destination for lovers of architecture, the studio wanted to make sure that all the buildings would blend harmoniously to become an extension of the landscape itself, instead of selfishly dominating it. “The park is everything. The views are spectacular, and we are surrounded by nature. Every house and communal space is set to capture these views, and the majority of them will be looking at the park,” says Trotter, explaining how the rugged yet gorgeous context of the desert influences the stone architecture of Paréa Zion.
“The biggest impact of this land is the view—to the northeast we have the magnificent Zion National Park that glows red with the sunset; to the south, a beautiful valley; to the west, the touring cliffs above the site. On the land itself, the play of undulating hills (will) hide each house, with rocks that become part of the architecture,” shares Trotter, who leads his studio based on an ethos of simplicity, and a true belief "that any design should belong to the place where it is built."
According to Studio Andrew Trotter, most of the ensuing construction for the contextual architecture will be kept light, coated with a rough lime plaster dressed in a similar, rusty red hue as the earth and the rocks, to keep its impression minimal on the land. “All the colours and textures have been taken and inspired from the surroundings themselves. Martian red and subtle earthy tones are used throughout, to match the natural pigments and consistencies of the rocks and soil. We wanted the buildings to blend in as much as possible,” Trotter clarifies.
Each volume of the desert architecture is designed to be self-sufficient, set in positions where the other units will be barely visible or intrusive, giving off the feeling of being blissfully alone in the wilderness while enjoying the comforts of a full-service hotel. The reception, restaurant and swimming pool of the wellness retreat will be housed in a low building that drinks in the grand views, while the spa and wellness building is planned to rest high up on the landscape, concealed intentionally like a refuge to discover, ‘for an experience second to none.’ “The houses are positioned to take in the magnificent views and create a sense of isolation in nature, while the bathhouse building and lounge offer a warm and engaging atmosphere,” the architect reiterates.
An ‘architecture-forward’ wellness retreat
“This project places significant emphasis on experience and feeling, and this begins with the architecture. It is crucial that the structures go beyond just maintaining what the site provides and cultivates other sensations such as comfort, exploration, connection, and tranquillity. There is so much more to the space than just the visual aesthetic of a building. There is a great quote from Luis Barragán that captures this idea: ‘Architecture is an art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere, and this environment produces well-being’,” Trotter mentions. On how Paréa Zion will maintain an ‘architecture-forward’ perspective, the studio relays that through this striking hospitality architecture, the experience of the space is meant to be elevated in fullness, harmoniously blending with the landscape, and highlighting its incredible views in tandem.
Upon entering the site, one encounters the reception building, where the first room is bestowed with a setting evocative of an expansive, elegant living room instead of a plain hotel lobby. Treading further, visitors will be led to a marketplace in greeting, along with the restaurant and swimming pool, spaces designed and positioned with a purpose for families to relax, eat, and take in the gorgeous vistas stretching around them.
Ranging from studio dwellings to three-bedroom units including five one-off designs created specifically to set a dialogue with its natural landscape, all 50 houses of the contemporary architecture will be separated from each other to offer complete privacy, cultivating an ambience of being alone and fully with nature. Many of these houses will enjoy their own kitchenette or kitchen, so the guests can feel right at home, and tailor their holiday or retreat experience just how they like it.
Guests will also be encouraged to traverse the property on foot, with an option to bike or ride in a cart as well. An expansive, adult-only bath house spa and lounge area for wellness, relaxing, retreats, and events will be positioned further up the hill. Throughout, the luxury-infused interior design reflects its earthy skin, replete with a subdued and natural colour palette, minimal textures, and a monastic décor with accents of soft grey and brown, finding distinction with simple geometric reliefs.
The ground level will host a gym and a multi-purpose studio catering to yoga sessions, workouts, as well as group meetings. As one enters deeper into the hospitality interiors, an open spa lounge and swimming pool await them, from which a hallway will guide them to an open-air courtyard design surrounded by various saunas, steam rooms, hot and cold soaking pools, and a sound dome. “This dome, as well as the studio space, were designed with specific acoustic proportions for special equipment that will create incredible sound experiences. A quiet courtyard behind the bathhouse has a series of treatment rooms,” Trotter reveals. The upper floor will boast of a café and lounge with its own pool, sun chairs, and a covered event patio.
Paréa Zion exclaims a well-thought-out oasis that places at its heart, a compendious conversation with its context, a protected area which is known for its spectacular rock formations, remarkable canyons carved out of the desert floor, and pine-blanketed peaks, an environment rich and cinematic in its rawness. The intervention, massive in scale yet subtle in its presence, will exude deliberate humility and a reverence for nature, furthering its intention of fostering a retreat of relaxation and wellness in Zion. “Our philosophy is, and always has been based on simplicity. We want people to feel at home in our buildings. We are not here for shock value, but rather, to create environments that people love to stay in,” Trotter shares with STIR, summarising the essence of the tranquil and earthy hospitality design.
- Contemporary Architecture
- Contextual Architecture
- Contextual Design
- Courtyard Design
- Desert Architecture
- Digital Architecture
- Digital Artist
- Drawing Board
- Hospitality Architecture
- Hospitality Design
- Hospitality Interiors
- Hotel Architecture
- Hotel Design
- Interior Design
- Natural Landscape
- Stone Architecture
- Wellness Retreat