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Peru plans off-balance, cliff-edge hotel

By Hiufu Wong, CNN
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Fri August 23, 2013
The latest design by Spanish architecture firm OOIIO resembles a massive photo frame. The latest design by Spanish architecture firm OOIIO resembles a massive photo frame.
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Unbalance Hotel, Lima
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Mean lean
Multi-use facility
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Future design
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish design firm OOIIO has an imaginative design for its upcoming hotel project in Peru
  • Called "Unbalance Hotel," the design resembles a tilted photo frame by the cliff
  • The design will avoid blocking sea views and aims to become a landmark for Lima

(CNN) -- While some architects compete over height, others compete with shape.

After China's "Donut" Hotel (aka the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort) hit monitors earlier this month, another eye-opening hotel design has just been announced -- also with a massive hole in the middle of the building.

Designed by Spanish architecture firm OOIIO, the Unbalance Hotel (the project's working title) resembles a tilted photo frame at the edge of a high cliff in Lima, Peru.

"Lima hasn´t got a representative iconic building that brings the more than 8 million inhabitants of the city to be well known worldwide," OOIIO director Joaquín Millán tells CNN.

"We wanted to create something radical, strong. A landmark, a building that makes you think, a shape that shakes your imagination.

"We know that as soon as you do something that radical on such a dominant location there are going to be a lot of people hating it. And some of them also loving it.

"This is what we want -- make people talk about architecture, and what to do and not to do with Lima's urban landscape."

Bold purchase

Hugging a space between the Pacific Ocean and the city, the unique shape of "Unbalance Hotel" ensures people behind the building won't have their views out to the ocean blocked.

"Unbalanced" plan.  "Unbalanced" plan.
"Unbalanced" plan."Unbalanced" plan.

The bold dream, however, will be fulfilled only with the help of an equally bold investor.

Fortunately for OOIIO, a private Latin American investor, who the company won't name, is said to be pleased with the design.

"We were not sure if he was going to react OK to such a strong proposal," says Millán. "Actually we had a B option ready just in case, but we never had to show it.

"After a long silence he started to say nice things about the project, and he sees the economic potential of such a building design. Now he is in love with it!"

The design is still in its development stage and nothing has been confirmed, so no construction or opening dates were given.

If approved, the "Unbalance Hotel" is meant to serve as both a hotel and congress center, consisting of 125 rooms, restaurants, conference rooms and an exhibition space.

The interior design will include "some spaces with non-vertical facades, and very spectacular hall and rooftop restaurants," says Millán.

Other outrageous designs from OOIIO include Miraflores-Barranco Footbridge, a spiky footbridge that looks like Peruvian crystal, and Valer Church, a wooden church that doubles as a public space in a small Norwegian village.

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