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Captivating museum hotel opens in Turkey above archaeological site

by | 11 Jan 2020 | Design

Futuristic hotel pods are combined with cultural heritage at the Museum Hotel Antakya. (Photo by: Cemdal Emden)

Old meets new at the Museum Hotel Antakya where futuristic hotel pods seemingly float above archeologically invaluable ruins.

The Museum Hotel Antakya has opened its doors to the public, and what a sight it is to behold. 

Innovative, contemporary architecture that respects and celebrates its context tells the story of this sacred Turkish site. 

We find out more. 

A sacred museum hotel

Many coveted hotels are often a product of their location, and such is the case with the enthralling new Museum Hotel Antakya in Turkey. The 199-key property is part hotel, part museum and is near a historic site that claims to have been the first place to ever hold a Christian congregation. 

Close by, a river’s flow cleared the riverbed to reveal an ancient wonderland of archaeological significance. The site dates back to antiquity and has been carefully preserved throughout the hotel’s construction which now sits above it. 

Where ancient meets modern 

Design studio Emre Arolat Architecture was behind this inimitable property’s creation and their core concept was to explore the tension between the archaeology and the architecture, between the old and the new. 

To do this, they studied the site thoroughly and became well versed in architectural preservation. They also schooled themselves on modular building methods as this was going to be a primary tool to allow them to raise the hotel above the ruins below. This was achieved by positioning the structural columns at points where they would not damage the ruins and by elevating the interconnected grid into which the hotel rooms slot. 

The building is spread across four levels. The lowest level was conceived of as an “open-air museum parkour”, where guests can see the ancient mosaics and ruins from above. 

The second level houses the common areas of the hotel, such as the lobby and dining areas, both of which have views down towards the ruins below. Above this sit the hotel pods, a collection of prefabricated rooms arranged around open-air corridors and paths. On the upper level, guests will find the spa, ballroom, meeting rooms and another restaurant.

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