EL MIKE

 

PROJECT TYPE:  

Hospitality, Hotel, Rehabilitation/Re-use

LOCATION: 

Moab, Utah

SIZE: 

2,415 s.m. (26,000 s.f.) / 66 Rooms

CATEGORY:

Architecture, Landscape

COLLABORATORS:

Artist Guild Hotels 

Located in Moab, Utah, a small town nestled within the dramatic landscape of the American Southwest, El Mike reinvents a humdrum 1990’s roadside hotel as an authentic high-value experience and hospitality asset without adding a single room or substantial alterations to the existing building. Abandoned shortly after its initial 19th-century settlement, Moab is a story of iteration and reincarnation. Early inhabitants, followed by nomadic tribes, came long before the valley served as a passageway to the American west. Trails and agriculture gave way to mining and railroads before the town transformed into an industrial center. With remnants of the past, today, Moab serves as a recreational gateway to Arches and Canyonland National Parks.

 

The hotel sits just beyond the fertile valley with The Portal, where the Colorado River carves a deep canyon through the surrounding red cliffs as a backdrop. Mundane but hardly benign on this irreplaceable landscape, the existing building does little to earn its spot within this extraordinary natural setting and relies heavily on its proximity alone to beckon guests. A layering of architecture and landscape interventions seeks to change this in a way as practical as it is expressive of the context. It does not feign a mirage or oasis in the desert, nor does it rely on commonly applied themes. Through strategic modifications to the existing building and employing an independent modular balcony, guard and solar screen system, free of the existing building, a new architecture and landscape architecture instead express a place of respite and a sanctuary within a sometimes-inhospitable vast open landscape. Material and formal references to adobe, timber and industrial vernaculars, and natural elements, are merged into one language, all the same, warped by the wind and patinaed under the sun.

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