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Bringing Natural Elements in Hospitality Design

Nature has always been a source of inspiration. At this year's iF DESIGN AWARD, lots of guest houses and building complexes show major hospitality trends.

Whenever natural elements surround us, we feel right at ease, less stressed and in touch with ourselves and the environment. In keeping with this fundamental principle of hospitality, many architects and designers incorporate nature into their creations, whether in hotels or restaurants. They have understood that there is a perceptual dialogue between the space and individual and thus environments for individual well-beings. 

iF award-winning designs 2021

Within a village of Hangzhou in China, the architects have completed the renovation of a rural old house and its adjoining four courtyards to create a boutique hotel that blends traditional architecture with contemporary design.
MYMORY Boutique Hotel - The Rural Old House Reborn | Manufacture: MYMORY Boutique Hotel

Within a village of Hangzhou in China, the architects have completed the renovation of a rural old house and its adjoining four courtyards to create a boutique hotel that blends traditional architecture with contemporary design.

Ícaro merges the benefits of houses and urban apartments in a sustainable three-tower complex in Curitiba, Brazil,. The project’s premise is based on offering naturally lit and comfortable environments while ensuring the dwellers’ privacy using local and natural materials.
ICARO JARDINS DO GRACIOSA | Manufacture: AG7 Realty

Ícaro merges the benefits of houses and urban apartments in a sustainable three-tower complex in Curitiba, Brazil,. The project’s premise is based on offering naturally lit and comfortable environments while ensuring the dwellers’ privacy using local and natural materials.

Tanit is a portable and rechargeable table lamp, with soft light diffused through a screen woven by hand with cotton thread.
Tanit M/29/R | Manufacture: Bover Barcelona

Tanit is a portable and rechargeable table lamp, with soft light diffused through a screen woven by hand with cotton thread.

This granite composite sink with a distinctive apron front is reminiscent of a classic farmhouse-style sink. With two installation options, a striking granite look and high resistance make this sink a unique kitchen feature.
VINTERA | Manufacture: BLANCO GmbH & Co. KG

This granite composite sink with a distinctive apron front is reminiscent of a classic farmhouse-style sink. With two installation options, a striking granite look and high resistance make this sink a unique kitchen feature.

SIGNATURE is a customizable collection of bathroom furnishings. The selection of removable front covers made from a variety of materials can be used to accommodate changing tastes or new interior designs. Moreover, faucets and toilets can be matched to the front cover materials thanks to customizable covers.
SIGNATURE | Manufacture: JOMOO Kitchen & Bath Co., Ltd.

SIGNATURE is a customizable collection of bathroom furnishings. The selection of removable front covers made from a variety of materials can be used to accommodate changing tastes or new interior designs. Moreover, faucets and toilets can be matched to the front cover materials thanks to customizable covers.

The design of this residential building follows the world outlook of Six-Directions in Buddhism, and integrates the architecture into environment in the Six Directions of East, West, South, North, Sky and Earth , as if it grew naturally from the wild.
Six-Direction Meditation Courtyard House | Manufacture: ICI Architecture

The design of this residential building follows the world outlook of Six-Directions in Buddhism, and integrates the architecture into environment in the Six Directions of East, West, South, North, Sky and Earth , as if it grew naturally from the wild.

The overall design of house is simplified from complexity, free of complex decorations. Modern architectural techniques and materials are adopted to express the tranquility, which is impermanent and inclusive. The layout of three bedrooms, two living room and two bathrooms meets the residential needs and the spiritual needs, and there is enough storage area for the owners.
Sanctuary of the Soul | Manufacture: UNI-X ASSOCIATES

The overall design of house is simplified from complexity, free of complex decorations. Modern architectural techniques and materials are adopted to express the tranquility, which is impermanent and inclusive. The layout of three bedrooms, two living room and two bathrooms meets the residential needs and the spiritual needs, and there is enough storage area for the owners.

The design of this residential builing evolved to use relatively simple forms and durable materials. On the morphological side, it transformed into a floating box shape from a traditional gable roof. It is a result that shifted upper floor space gradually falls to kitchen space.
Tranquility House | Manufacture: e-depot

The design of this residential builing evolved to use relatively simple forms and durable materials. On the morphological side, it transformed into a floating box shape from a traditional gable roof. It is a result that shifted upper floor space gradually falls to kitchen space.

The design of this hood and hob is inspired by the European culture's understanding of nature. The product is divided into two parts, the top used to absorb lampblack, enveloped around smoke, the middle strong fumes. The stove adopts a minimalist pot holder shape with a pure appearance.
Natural Series | Manufacture: Midea Group

The design of this hood and hob is inspired by the European culture's understanding of nature. The product is divided into two parts, the top used to absorb lampblack, enveloped around smoke, the middle strong fumes. The stove adopts a minimalist pot holder shape with a pure appearance.

Built in six weeks as a 100% tongue and groove house, with construction and interior living requirements, this residential house is a process of creating a symbiosis with the environment. Furniture that pulls out into the outdoors, a barbecue grill that becomes a kitchen, camping chairs that become living room chairs - these all represent the extension of offline living to the outside.
House 1 / 2 | Manufacture: Hide Lin

Built in six weeks as a 100% tongue and groove house, with construction and interior living requirements, this residential house is a process of creating a symbiosis with the environment. Furniture that pulls out into the outdoors, a barbecue grill that becomes a kitchen, camping chairs that become living room chairs - these all represent the extension of offline living to the outside.

How can you relax comfortably semi-outdoors? This residential building was designed with such thoughts in mind. The facade uses a doubled skin to hide the windows or unnecessary lines seeing over the house; this installation also improves the performance for insulation from heat and solar shading.
Oranque | Manufacture: kiriko design office

How can you relax comfortably semi-outdoors? This residential building was designed with such thoughts in mind. The facade uses a doubled skin to hide the windows or unnecessary lines seeing over the house; this installation also improves the performance for insulation from heat and solar shading.

The cabin is located in the midst of a cloudy hillside and enjoys a magnificent view of the forests. From the wooden structure on the outside, the interior of the house is made of solid wood. The large floor-to-ceiling windows bring the natural greenery into the house.
Into the mountain: A cozy cabin | Manufacture: Corange Design

The cabin is located in the midst of a cloudy hillside and enjoys a magnificent view of the forests. From the wooden structure on the outside, the interior of the house is made of solid wood. The large floor-to-ceiling windows bring the natural greenery into the house.

Each floor of this interior design project is an open space that uses a lot of glass, as well as the penetrating metal stairs and air bridge that construct a lithe flow line of lights and air.
Flowing into the Boundless Realm: Poem of Rain | Manufacture: Shang Yih Interior Design Co., Ltd.

Each floor of this interior design project is an open space that uses a lot of glass, as well as the penetrating metal stairs and air bridge that construct a lithe flow line of lights and air.

Linnut - the Finnish word for birds - is a collection of lighting sculptures. These birds are made of rotational-moulded polycarbonate, a material allowing to create an effect very similar to the rich finish so typical of blown glass.
Linnut | Manufacture: Magis S.p.A.

Linnut - the Finnish word for birds - is a collection of lighting sculptures. These birds are made of rotational-moulded polycarbonate, a material allowing to create an effect very similar to the rich finish so typical of blown glass.

'Hong' is a Japanese restaurant, the predecessor of this restaurant is a movie props warehouse; built in the 1960s, brick-wood structure. The interior design of ‘Hong’ represents the traditional humanity spirit and spiritual value. Architecturally and structurally, the designer retains the original wood structure of the original warehouse roof, which is a wonderful memory.
Hong Japanese cuisine | Manufacture: Fairytale Group

'Hong' is a Japanese restaurant, the predecessor of this restaurant is a movie props warehouse; built in the 1960s, brick-wood structure. The interior design of ‘Hong’ represents the traditional humanity spirit and spiritual value. Architecturally and structurally, the designer retains the original wood structure of the original warehouse roof, which is a wonderful memory.

This residential house architecture and interior design focuses on the minimum necessary "living". The housing suits the site environment, climate, natural features, and the senses of the residents.
Honest house | Manufacture: KIMURA KOUGYO Co., Ltd.

This residential house architecture and interior design focuses on the minimum necessary "living". The housing suits the site environment, climate, natural features, and the senses of the residents.

This residential interior design project is mainly used as a vacation house and also a place to accommodate guests. The overall color is based on grey and black, which response to the calmness while incorporating the wood color to increase a warm feeling.
Dance with Nature | Manufacture: YUANKING International Interior Design Co., Ltd.

This residential interior design project is mainly used as a vacation house and also a place to accommodate guests. The overall color is based on grey and black, which response to the calmness while incorporating the wood color to increase a warm feeling.

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From nature-themed designs to the use of natural materials, bringing the outdoors in plays an important role in creating a space that exudes simplicity and tranquility. Some people don’t even have much free time to spend outside due to working conditions or health circumstances and for them, integrating natural elements in their interior design is another way of reconnecting with nature.

Nature is also an essential inspiration for everyday products since it creates a more productive and healthier environment for people. In a world where we heavily rely on digital processes and technology, organic elements give us a feeling of being connected with nature. For instance, wood and greenery add a warm, vibrant texture to a room, while striking finishes like stone or stone veneer give the design a contemporary twist. The mantra is: Being respectful of the environment is a given.

iF gold award-winning designs 2021

Morelli is a holiday home in Tuscany. Built in a traditional Tuscan style, the house was restored and extended with an outside area, and complemented by a modern interior. Looking towards a reduced material palette, cotto was used throughout the house – on floors, the fireplace and the kitchens.
Morelli | Manufacture: Holzrausch GmbH

Morelli is a holiday home in Tuscany. Built in a traditional Tuscan style, the house was restored and extended with an outside area, and complemented by a modern interior. Looking towards a reduced material palette, cotto was used throughout the house – on floors, the fireplace and the kitchens.

OSOL is a permanent art pavilion that was installed on the west coast of South Korea. Inspired by the reflection of light on the sea, OSOL, the pine forest-like structure made from anodized aluminum, reflects the surrounding colors and allows visitors to gain a new perspective on the relationship between man and nature.
OSOL | Manufactures: Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

OSOL is a permanent art pavilion that was installed on the west coast of South Korea. Inspired by the reflection of light on the sea, OSOL, the pine forest-like structure made from anodized aluminum, reflects the surrounding colors and allows visitors to gain a new perspective on the relationship between man and nature.

Located in the middle of the white deer plain in Xi 'an, the capital of China's Shaanxi Province, the linguistic symbolism embedded in the architecture of this resort hotel reflects continuity and rhythm. Changes in sunlight and shadow produce different experiences.
White Deer Plain. Tongchen Hotel | Manufacture: Shaanxi Siji Yuanmai

Located in the middle of the white deer plain in Xi 'an, the capital of China's Shaanxi Province, the linguistic symbolism embedded in the architecture of this resort hotel reflects continuity and rhythm. Changes in sunlight and shadow produce different experiences.

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At this year's iF DESIGN AWARD, lots of modern hotels, guest villages and building complexes are honored in the Disciplines Architecture and Interior Architecture and show major hospitality trends. The gold awarded "Morelli" holiday home in the mountainous landscape of Tuscany, for example, uses local materials such as cotto and bog oak in all its rooms. "Six-Direction Meditation Courtyard House" even includes religious aspects of Buddhism. "OSOL" is gold awarded and a one-of-a-kind public art pavilion that mimics a pine forest and stands on a tidal beach in South Korea. The folding doors of "Tranquility House" to the garden is an illustrative example of making the boundary of in and out ambiguous. All of them in celebration of the alluring beauty of nature.

More and more architects and designers keep sustainability in mind these days to create projects in harmony with nature. It seems like they are aware of the harm made by a world heavily characterized by plastic consumption and choose materials that are easily associated with topics of reuse and recycling. These ideas are accompanied by a new naturalness, to which the use of local materials makes a decisive contribution. Designer and iF juror Marta Alonso Yebra advices: "In situ manufacturing is a good example of how to reduce waste and CO2 since it brings together ways for dealing with local materials and crafts from different cultures."

Swipe through the renewed iF design app for more inspiration

iF design app - relaunch 10 May 2021

Are you interested in more collections of iF award winning designs? We serve you with our renewed iF design app. Download it for free on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Authors: iF editors and Jessica Jungbauer

(published in May 2021)