Construction Underway on Ambiente, North America’s First Landscape Hotel
North America's first "landscape hotel" is now underway with sitework and construction amidst the red rocks of Sedona, Ariz., offering a new way for travelers to embrace sustainable tourism in one of the rarest and beautiful places in America.
Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel, will begin to take shape following the official site dedication yesterday by developer Two Sister Bosses and the City of Sedona. The highly anticipated hotel features 40 cube-shaped, luxury guest Atriums elevated above the ground by steel piers and encased in bronze glass to give the appearance that the structures are floating. Ambiente is in line with the philosophy and design principles similar to the handful of landscape hotels that exist around the world, which are built with a deep respect for the environment, focusing on sustainable methods and organic, modern architecture that complement the surrounding topography.
Up first in the construction process is the delicate placement of underground utilities on the untouched, rugged three-acre site, followed by the erection of the individual Atriums using steel-frame structures, a proprietary building system developed by the hotel's architect, ASUL Architects. The system is comprised of pre-fab steel frames that sit on four holes in the ground, which virtually eliminates the need to grade the natural vegetation and topography on-site. Over the course of 15 months, each Atrium will be hand-placed and oriented in the field to ensure optimal positioning that fits within the trees and flora while also maximizing views and privacy.
From there, the Atriums' floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which make up nearly 70 percent of the structure, will be placed. A unique type of dark-bronze glass was chosen because it allows clear visibility from the inside looking out to the landscape and red rock vistas, yet its highly reflective properties allow privacy from the outside by creating mirrored silhouettes of the surroundings that cause an almost camouflaged effect.
ASUL will be working hand-in-hand with Ambiente's landscape architect, Krizan Associates, Inc., who is focused on preserving the existing, heavily vegetated forest with minimal impact to the land. The plan is to save every native tree possible on the property during the building process. Krizan's team has found a way to reactivate the site's ancient waterways in order to create a natural eco-system with continuously running water throughout the property to complement the authentic look of the terrain.
"The focus of a landscape hotel from an architectural standpoint is to allow the natural surroundings to speak for themselves," said Jennifer May, co-owner of Two Sister Bosses. "The challenge at hand is how we are going to do this in the most efficient way possible with as little development as possible. With the site being as vegetative as it is, the Atriums will blend into the forest and offer the optical illusion that they are barely there, so guests focus their attention on the trees, bushes, flowers and Sedona vistas. Ambiente will be the first of its kind in America and we're thrilled to bring this concept to fruition over the coming months."
Inside, the Atriums' sleek and contemporary design will embody elegant minimalism and the utmost in luxurious accommodations, which will be complemented by rich colors and fabrics and accented by moody lighting. Add sentences. A double-sided fireplace will sit above the platform bed and will be visible on the other side of the wall above the soaking tub in the bathroom. Other in-room features include retractable TVs, a double shower, heated floors and a complimentary mini bar, refreshed daily.
Fifteen Atriums were designed with private rooftop decks, allowing guests to ascend a staircase to their roof, which features a daybed, comfortable enough for sleeping and stargazing, a seating area for dining and lounging, a small gas firepit and the ideal setting to take advantage of Sedona's rare Dark Sky designation.
Guests will arrive at Ambiente through a dramatic entry flanked by massive brass sculptures that emit beacons of fire into the night sky. Parking will be by valet only to keep vehicles off of the main property. No cars will be permitted to drive anywhere on-site aside from the pathway to a designated parking area.
The ultra-modern, two-story glass and metal lobby building will serve as the check-in area complete with a guest lounge, meeting rooms and offices. The lobby will fit within the existing contoured landform, minimizing impact to the site. A waterfall will spill from the lobby into a pond below, feeding the property's natural waterways. Once guests check in, they will take an elevator to the ground floor where they will be met by their valet and shuttled via a small electric-powered vehicle to their private Atrium. All lighting on the property will be indirect so that no exposed lightbulbs will be used anywhere, making Ambiente compliant with Dark Sky ordinances.
A natural lagoon-inspired pool and spa will be positioned as the centerpiece of the property and connected to an open-air Poolside Lounge that will house a full-service indoor/outdoor bar and a panoramic rooftop sun deck with fire pits and lounge seating. The bar will feature indoor and outdoor TVs, ample seating and a catering kitchen.
Ambiente is in line with Sedona's new commitment to provide sustainable destinations for tourists that are harmonious with the environment around them. The hotel aims to be the city's leading example of sustainable tourism and innovative hotel design that promotes long-term vibrancy within the community.