Circa Naturam,

Victoria Tyshchenko

Eco-hotel, the main idea of which is built around the preservation of a century-old oak tree.

Nature is the central concept of the hotel, which is named “Circa Naturam,” meaning being around nature. The site contains a diverse range of environmental elements like ancient oaks, firs, and eucalyptus trees, as well as lavender and thyme flowers. The original uniqueness and charm of the site area must be preserved for centuries. Therefore, the main idea is how to protect the state of nature, creating a sustainable and comfortable space for a deep understanding of beauty. The eco-hotel stands as a testament to our harmonious coexistence with the environment and should fulfill the primary function of a shelter and demonstrate a model that combines life, history, and a place where people can have flashes of revelation. It is a place that teaches us about the impact on the environment and vice versa.

Nature is not just a theme; it is the hotel’s essence, shaping every aspect of its design and purpose. The composition is built around an atrium, the center of which is the centuries-old oak. For ages, it has represented strength and endurance, standing the test of time. An innovative and central concept — an atrium pays homage to the past while embracing the future. Hotel guests can come together in the evenings to meditate and savor all the emotions of looking at the serene innocent beauty. The idea of the atrium has been modernized. Still, it is entirely consistent with the concept of the era of the Roman Empire — a front room, the center of which is occupied by an essential element. It also references the idea of an impluvium with an ancient pool-shaped hearth, popular in many counties outside the Roman Empire.

The two-story building is divided into two parts vertically by finishing materials. The public entrance area and atrium are surrounded by perforated masonry of local light limestone. This choice connects the hotel to its immediate surroundings and allows for natural ventilation and light, reducing the need for energy-consuming artificial systems. The facades of the hotel rooms are clad in magnificent black granite slabs, offering a striking contrast to the airy openness of the atrium and almost white limestone. The perimeter of the oak location is covered with a mosquito and waterproof mesh curtain to reduce unnecessary risks. As its ultimate vision, the hotel aspires to serve as a haven for both soulful contemplation and respectful caretaking of nature, marrying yesterday with tomorrow in harmony.


Author: Victoria Tyshchenko.
Location: Tavertet, Spain.
Year: 2023
Competition: Tavertet Cliff-Edge Hotel Competition.
Prize: Honorable Mention + Public Favorite.