A hotel to hold back the Gobi Desert

Could Margot Krasojević's high-concept sand-turbine hotel save China’s fragile northern environment?
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Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert
Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert

Margot Krasojević is a modern-day visionary with ambitious ideas for the future of architecture. "The face of the built environment is changing and with it so should buildings," says the Serbian-born architect.

 

Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert
Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert

Her latest expression of this belief is a hotel. Not just any hotel but one that doubles as a solar-powered sand turbine. This concept has the lofty and admirable aspiration of holding back the Gobi Desert.

The Gobi, Asia’s largest desert, occupies parts of northern China and southern Mongolia and is expanding so rapidly that China is trying to cultivate a band of trees to keep the sand at bay. However, the scheme is struggling because of an over-reliance on fast-growing non-native plants. These are lowering groundwater levels and, in some cases, are failing to thrive or even survive.

 

Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert
Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert

Krasojević's alternative comprises a subterranean seed vault, which would help germination and would use wind power to generate clean energy. "This underground shaft acts as an inverted greenhouse, which can also produce food," she says.

Plant growth would further be aided by photovoltaic solar cells clustered together that could rotate. These would be combined with a tower of sand turbines, from where seeds would be dispersed into the surroundings. The elongated, cantilevered structure made of concrete would also have guest accommodation.

 

Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert
Margot Krasojevic's sand turbine hotel for the Gobi Desert

It is an ambitious project, and the latest in a string of imaginative schemes from Krasojević. Earlier this year her plans for a hydroelectric waterfall prison off the coast of Canada were unveiled. Like all her ideas, it was depicted by seductive CAD renderings.

Let’s see if she can get this off the ground. For greater insight into ambitious new architectural works, take a look at our Architizer A+ Awards 2015 book here.

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