Select Page

Bill Bensley designs a Hilton “zoo hotel” for humans in China [Construction Report]

by | 03 Apr 2020 | Design

A preview of Bill Bensley’s one of a kind zoo hotel for Hilton. (Photo: CNN)

Conservationist architect Bill Bensley inverts the typical zoo format for a wild new Hilton hotel project in China.

Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley came up with a radical idea when he was asked to design a Hilton hotel in China that also featured a zoo: that instead of caging the animals, he would cage the humans and let the wildlife roam around outside.

We take a look inside the proposed WorldWild outpost in Guangdong.

Humans in captivity

It’s ironic that, during the current coronavirus lockdown, a luxury zoo-come-hotel that houses humans instead of animals should be making headlines, but these are no ordinary times.

Bangkok-based architect and lifelong conservationist Bill Bensley has executed many 5-star hotel projects over his extensive career, but none quite as ambitious as his WorldWild project, which will see several internationally branded hotels rolled out across the globe, one of which has a particularly catchy angle: that the hotel itself acts as a human zoo.

Bensley was approached by a client who wanted to incorporate a zoo into their proposed project in the Guangdong province of China, but the architect, who most definitely thinks outside the box when it comes to design, came up with the novel idea of putting the humans inside luxury $1m suites, with the animals free to roam around outside the hotel.

5-star luxury…with neglected animals

Bensley’s biggest win with this proposed hotel followed a meeting with local Communist Party members, who green-lighted his idea to take neglected and abused animals from around zoos in China and relocate them in the grounds around the hotel.

The hotel will sit on a site where the design team will reinstate wetlands to encourage biodiversity, and the animals will be released into the 2,000-hectare plot to roam freely.

These neglected animals will no doubt need some tending to once they arrive, but the team has also decided to rehabilitate them on site, so they have a positive association with their surroundings.

Animals will have preference on site, as they are allocated 95% of the land, while humans will reside in 5% of the grounds in the hotel.

Sustainability by design

The hotels which form part of the WorldWild project will have a heavy focus on sustainability in their design.

Eco-friendly initiatives such as prioritising natural light and ventilation, using as much greenery as possible on terraces, roofs and on the ground, growing vegetables and fruit on site, cutting down on plastic use and equipping rooms with sustainable alternatives like bamboo toothbrushes are just some of the elements Bensley wants to focus on.

The architect is the son of a gardener, and this can be seen in the extraordinary renderings of his proposed hotels – lush foliage, timber-decked terraces and pool areas, wooden construction and references of vernacular building types and architecture all appear in his sketches. The collection of hotels is expected to open in 2023.

ABOUT THE CHAIN

Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 17 world-class brands comprising more than 5,700 properties with more than 923,000 rooms, in 113 countries and territories.

MORE NEWS

 

X Architects win competition with futuristic desert resort design
Dexter Moren Associates to transform listed Westminster building into hotel
Design will help hotels problem-solve their way to a post-Covid future
Hospitality brands that have value and moral connection to their guests will survive
Meyer Davis overhauls iconic Rosewood property in the British Virgin Islands
How Aman carved a niche in luxury hotel and resort design
Local influences, contemporary design reign supreme in Sri Lanka’s Amari Hotel
Ara Design completes interiors of Mitzpe Hayamim hotel in Israel
Bill Bensley designs a Hilton “zoo hotel” for humans in China [Construction Report]
Sofitel Mexico City Reforma is capital’s first luxury hotel in 10 years
AHEAD Asia 2020 winners announced
MIAJA completes awe-inspiring interiors revamp of Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido
Deborah Berke merges art gallery into boutique hotel at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago
Zaha Hadid’s architectural masterpiece ME Dubai opens to public [Infographic]
Churchill’s Old War Office to house spectacular Raffles residence
All about the alternative: Luxury Frontiers pitches its tents in Utah
TOPHOTELDESIGN special: Hotels with stunning urban oasis spaces
Nordelaia: Designing for human connection in the age of tech
Oasis for digital nomads in UK’s Northern Powerhouse: Quest Liverpool
DesignLSM chosen to create interiors of Heythrop Park Resort

FREE HILTON REPORT

You would like to know more about the upcoming hotel projects by Hilton? Download our latest construction report with a detailed overview of the current project pipeline.

 

FIND HOTEL PROJECTS AND KEY DECISION-MAKERS

With the online database TOPHOTELCONSTUCTION you will have access to +6,000 hotel projects and all relevant decision-maker contacts.

LEARN MORE

Pin It on Pinterest