Perched atop a hill overlooking South Korea’s East Sea, the Richard Meier & Partners Architects–designed HH Resort and Spa at Gyeongpodae plays off the idyllic, seaside landscape. The 150-room boutique hotel has two main parts: a 4-story podium and a 15-story trapezoidal tower. Both segments feature glass curtain walls, balconies, and canopies, and connect by bridge to a beachside banquet hall elevated on pilotis.
“The landscape had to be integral with the design of the building, not only as a design approach towards the project but also a sign of respect for the existing context and the nature of this beautiful site,” said Dukho Yeon, associate partner at Richard Meier & Partners Architects. “The existing trees and areas with archeological artifacts are preserved and untouched as much as possible by building mainly on the footprint of the structure which was demolished for this new building.”
As is the case with most of Meier’s work, the architecture of the hotel is restrained, composed of simple geometric forms, and predominantly white with a material palette of concrete, metal panels, glass, and local stone. “The materials of the exteriors and interiors in most our projects have a consistency in design language and in this case as well, but for this hotel it was important to add a level of richness, texture, and color that is a bit atypical of what we normally do,” said Yeon.
The emphasis of the architecture is on orienting the building to take advantage of the breathtaking vistas. Nearly every room offers sweeping views of the sea, with some glimpsing Gyeongpo Lake and the distant Taebaek mountains as well.