Modern architecture with an almost brutalist feel at once juxtaposes and, ironically, anchors the vast landscape that surrounds it. The design is anything but the palm-tree-beach-and-golf-course stereotype the sunshine state is known for but rather an exercise in deeper confrontation between land and architecture.
The hotel’s interior beautifully represents Alberto Alfonso’s architectural ethos, his ability to harmoniously blend old and new, straight line and curve, hard and soft surfaces to create a space that, despite its visual tension is restful and calming.
Alberto Alfonso had free reign in developing the concept for the resort and his design extended into branding of every element including the fonts used on print materials, staff uniforms as well as all interior and exterior spaces. The water color sketch above illustrates his vision of the hotel as a tree within the landscape with concrete pillars on lower floors forming the roots or trunks and the hotel rooms as canopy.
The hotel’s main restaurant located on the lower ground floor best illustrates the concept of the building growing out of the ground. Named for its location it depicts the stylized tree that symbolized the concept of the hotel itself. Note also the signage font, designed by Alberto for the project.
The building’s “tree trunks” rise from the ground and expand upward in soft organic shapes and become essential design elements as they define the space they’re in. In the restaurant (top) the support becomes a sculpture that separates the bar and the restaurant; in the breezeway between hotel and spa building we see the pillars in raw concrete best suited in the outdoor setting and in the spa we see them again, this time as dark and moody guardians of this luxurious sanctuary.
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