The project site is located in Binh Chau village where is the suburban area of Ho chi minh city in Vietnam and it takes about 3-hour drive distance from the city center. The project site is nearly 10 hectares and it has been partially developed and opened hot spring spas, a hotel, restaurants when we visited site at the beginning of the project. However, these facilities were out of date and do not attract the guests nowadays from HCM city any more. Ho chi minh based company bought out the project and renovated whole site as brand new and high classed resort destination in order to meet the highly leisure demand of the rising new rich and young guests in HCM city.
The Minera hotel site is approximately 19,000 square meters and one part of the whole hot spring resort to provide the accommodation requirement for the overnight guests to enjoy the quiet and lush green luxury resort. The hotel is consisted of newly added villas with private outdoor hot paring and garden, cafeteria, service center and existing hotel building. The hotel landscape has swimming pool, Jacuzzi, kids’ pool, hot spring pool and individual hot bathes.
The hotel site was untouched woods area in the resort, and there were a few small sheds and huge numbers of native trees that are taller than 30 meters high. At the first glance on site, we decided to reserve them as many as possible to create the hotel landscape to be wrapped within the lush nature and make guests enjoying and relaxing in the forest.
Reserving these trees also gave the project very effective result. The owner required to open the hotel area as soon as possible to provide the alternative guests’ destination while the main hot spring resort facilities were rebuilt and under construction. Thanks to these native trees, when the hotel area opened after rapid design and construction, the landscape already had very mature and cozy atmosphere like a good aged resort. It also helped to shorten construction time and reduce the project cost very much.
To achieve the above design goal there were big challenges to overcome. The whole area was the old resort development and there was no accurate site survey plan that locates exact trees locations. Because of the quick design and construction requirement from the owner they also did not agree to survey site again by the specialists, they were not concerned to see the value of these native trees as well. We visited the site several times with bringing GPS logger and plotted the trees while planning landscape in order not to cut any of the trees. We designed the plan by inserting the pools and hot spring bathes among the trees with careful site research. Under the construction stage we also always kept in touch with the local constructor to reconfirm the tree locations and sometimes redesigned and revised plan such as pool shape or location with the site condition. Unfortunately, a few trees were cut on the site because of the communication difficulties of cross border project, however we were able to accomplish the first goal in totally.
Vietnam is now one of the rapidly developing countries in the world and the rising numbers of riches and young are getting more and more who are seeking the high-end travel destination near the city. We appreciate the project can provide the place to escape from the busy and bustle city for a few days trip and make them discover the value of the beauty of the native environment again.
This was our first project in Vietnam and there were no local landscape design institute to collaborate and help us. Although our design team are based in Shanghai and Tokyo we had been keeping communication with management team and owner to catch up with rapid development requirement. We hope this project can show a good sample to use effectively the existing nature environment and less demolishment to success resort development in the rapid developing country.
Architecture offices involved in the design: Studio At mark Registered architects’s Office
Project Location: National Road 55, Binh Chau Village, Xuyen Moc Town, Vietnam
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2020