Blue Hotel, on a lonely highway
Songjiang Hotel in Songjiang, China, would have to be the coolest I’ve ever seen (or it will be, once built).
Built directly into the side of a former quarry, it has minimal environmental impact (I mean, for a hotel that size), and uses geo-thermal energy for power and heating, as well as green roofing (hence the link to greenroofs.com, as well the natural vegetation and waterflows.
An aquatic theme runs through the design both visually and functionally. Curved wings of the main body of the guestrooms enclose a naturally lit internal atrium, which uses the existing rock face with its waterfalls and green vegetation. This will be overlooked by guestroom balconies and contain restaurants and cafés at the base. Two underwater levels will house a restaurant and guestrooms facing a ten-metre deep aquarium. The lowest level of the hotel will contain a leisure complex with a swimming pool and water-based sports. An extreme sports centre for activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from the water level of the hotel.
So next time you’re in China (after this is built), consider a trip to Songjiang.