This spectacular Looper Suites resort in Sri Lanka shows us how we can enjoy vacations surrounded by nature and with just a cloth covering our roof.
As we saw when we visited a luxury hotel in the desert of Namibia, the new reality of tourism, even before the pandemic appeared, has a lot to do with sustainability and, specifically, with Eco Hospitality. Now the aim is for the client to be satisfied with having enjoyed the stay and to feel proud of contributing to being eco-responsible, or what is the same, contributing to safeguarding planet Earth. Today we visit a Looper Suites resort in Sri Lanka, which follows the same environmental and tourism concept.
The Looper Suites of Sri Lanka
These are buildings known as Looper Suites and are located within the Wild Coast Tented Lodge complex. This unique name was given by the design team, consisting of Olav Bruin, Louis Thompson and Freddie Catlow, from the architecture studio Nomadic Resorts.
A study specialized in the hotel sector with a holistic vision with which they create sustainable projects. A feature that must be in the DNA of the new generation of designers if we want the future to be more livable.
Construction finished in 2017 and is located within the Yala National Park, facing the Indian Ocean. In total it consists of 36 independent suites called Loopers for their curious organic caterpillar shape.
It has an extensible membrane structure that was designed for rapid construction and with the intention of running isolated camps in environmentally sensitive sites. In fact, the architects also designed other curious shapes such as the Seedpod, the Surfpod and the Urchin.
Private villas with all kinds of luxuries and surrounded by nature
The developer, Resplendent Ceylon, commissioned 8 of the 36 buildings to be Urchins, specially designed for the youngest adventurers in the family. These have been arranged in the shape of the footprint of the leopard, the king of the National Park with the permission of the elephant, and they go from the beach to the nearby grove.
The first group of houses, made up of four villas facing the sea, have private pools. The other groups have a nearby waterhole designed to attract wildlife. Here it is possible to get up and see a gray heron or an Asian needle duck.
Constructions that respect 100% nature
The pods that make up the hotel rooms reach surfaces between 42 and 55 square meters. They are executed by placing steel arches on small concrete piles, to which a weather-resistant membrane is attached.
The piles are anchored to the ground, but the construction floor rises without touching the ground, allowing natural life to flow underneath. In this way, if there is a stream, channels or rain trails, it will not interrupt your path due to undesirable elements.
The steel arches allow two openings: the front and the rear. These are delimited by carpentry with low emissivity double glazing, which protect you from temperature changes while you enjoy the surrounding landscape. Of course, this is not all carpentry.
On the sides, several porthole windows allow light to enter, being at the same time the perfect aesthetic companion, as well as allowing a better fit on the fabric due to its circular shape.
Copper, the main material in construction
Inside, the space can be divided to house a bedroom of about 28 square meters, and a living room with a bathroom, which covers the rest of the surface. The interior design was the responsibility of Bo Reudler Studio, who opted for an adventurous touch, including elements and materials that accentuated the feeling of contemporary discovery.
Thus, they used local materials such as stone, quartz and clay brick, which they combine with others such as copper, brass, wood and textiles.
In this way, copper becomes the element that is most visible, with the permission of the textile that forms the vaulted roof. Its texture changes over time, and it serves as an assembly accessory for furniture, for the passage of facilities, to collect water in the form of a sink or receive us in the form of an elegant bathtub.
Without a doubt, they were totally right choosing this magnificent material, which nods to the mahogany tones of the wood, at the same time that allows the colorful rugs of the place to take center stage.
Comfort and sustainability coexist in the Looper Suites
But the current concept of luxury and contemporary living forces us to introduce a series of facilities that allow comfort. In addition, materializing efficient consumption for these facilities will be key to obtaining the much desired Eco Hospitality.
To achieve this, the complex has solar panels that produce 40% of the energy needs; food waste is processed to produce biogas for the kitchen; gray water is recycled to irrigate gardens; and the residual heat from the air conditioning is used to heat the water used in the Loopers.
The main thing is sustainability
XCO2 Energy company did the engineering, employing dynamic simulation and CFD (computer fluid dynamics) modeling. With this they established the best environmental design strategy for the tracks. They were responsible for applying sustainable measures and evaluating the environmental impact in the area.
The lighting consultant Robert Jan Vos was another of the lucky ones who worked in the construction, designing the LED luminaires that accompany the constructions inside and outside, creating a magical atmosphere at night.
A construction by professional technicians and fishermen
The idea of running eco-friendly luxury hotels is something that invades the Asian world in a special way. On this occasion, it comes with innovative ideas that have been executed by the local workforce, with the necessary training of professional technicians from other parts.
Thinking that this beautiful and sustainable complex was built by the hands of fishermen is part of the charm, and observing nature on the front line, without harming it, is a suitable prize for the most demanding.