Hotel

Future Hotels

by Ralph Martin

VietinBank Business Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam

The soaring steel towers Foster + Partners is constructing in Hanoi are best viewed from above (from the Aircruise Dirigible, perhaps?), in order to fully appreciate the slanted V, for VietinBank, that forms the shape of the taller, 68-story tower that will be the bank's headquarters. The second tower (a mere 48 floors) will house a five-star hotel, spa, and serviced apartments designed to coddle green-conscious tourists and residents. The seven-story glass building connecting the towers is where you'll find all the hospitality action: luxury shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as a rooftop garden. A serrated facade, made of projecting fins, gives the buildings the look of high-tech cheese graters, but the fins' function is to provide shade above each window. However, the big eco-news is that the project, due to be completed in 2014, introduces pioneering environmentally friendly technology on a huge scale. A low-energy desiccant wheel system sucks in hot, humid air from outdoors, removes the excess moisture, and then cools the air with groundwater before pumping it through the towers. Unlike a number of future hotel pitches, this is one project that's not full of hot air.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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