The change of the concept of the unit understood as an independent apartment goes hand in hand with the new concept of rest and recreation. In the 21st century, climate changes and diseases of civilization have brought people back to nature and active recreation. Such relaxation no longer consists of access to all amenities without having to move. On the contrary, leaving the building, contact with the outside world, feeling the weather conditions is no longer understood as a nuisance. The change of mindset is demonstrated by the availability of active leisure zones such as gyms, swimming pools and SPA zones. Until recently, they were located directly in the hotel building – sometimes in the underground part, without access to sunlight. Recreational facilities designed in such a way generated high construction costs with a relatively unattractive effect. It does not matter how this type of interior is arranged, no effort will compensate for the lack of contact with the outside world, which slowly becomes a priority for a modern user – regardless of whether he uses a restaurant or a swimming pool. For this reason, some investors move active leisure zones outside the walls of the building. „Pałac Jugowice Luxury Hotel” in the Owl Mountains in Lower Silesia is a revitalization completed in 2012 of the former farms. It is one of the first facilities in Poland where the swimming pool and sauna area has been arranged on a larger scale in the outdoor space – in the form of a garden with light wooden pavilions scattered around.
It is a complex of free-standing residential units (self-contained apartments) referring in form to the idea of a „tree house”. Interestingly, the facility, despite its unconventional form and the lack of a covered connection between individual units, has the status of a three-star hotel. The author has personal experience in the design and implementation of an object that makes the idea of „Park Hotel” real. Camppinus Park9 in Jezierzany in Western Pomerania is a kind of „garden hotel”.
Project from 2017, implemented in stages from 2018, made available in 2019. (Landscaping, landscape architecture, architecture and construction – Idziak-Sępkowscy Architekci in cooperation with industry designers. Studio Mode: lina interior design.).
On a relatively small plot of land (about 8,000 m2), it has been designed seventeen independents, detached residential units and four buildings common use. Including a reception building, integration workshop room, sports equipment rental and a gym. In the course of implementation, despite previous plans, the investor abandoned the construction of the indoor SPA and swimming pool complex in favour of moving it to the outside space – which confirms the tendency observed in the example of the facility in Jugowice. Construction of legal residential units for individual recreation facilities with a building area of up to 35 square meters 10. Despite the intensity of the development, a number of architectural measures make that individual units guarantee the possibility of separation and intimacy. It is so, among others, because the communication around the facility has been led under the facilities and that has made free the green area. Traffic clearances influenced on the arrangement of the interiors of residential units, forcing the different levels of storeys. Despite the limitations in the built-up area, designing several mezzanine heights allowed to resign from the traditional division into rooms and provide a spacious, several-person space. In addition, the Investor applied the aforementioned „smart” facility formula in which residents have practically no contact with the staff. They can also avoid
contact with other guests. The facility does not have its own restaurant. Meals are delivered to individual units via special docks. Guests use electric vehicles to move around, which also allow them to explore the area. As a result, the relatively large distance from the sea is no longer a barrier. The heating and lighting parameters, as well as ordering and switching on individual services, are performed by the guests themselves using mobile devices. The sauna park in Jugowice, the resort in Nałęczów and Camppinus Park have one more important feature. All these facilities are made of light wooden technology. The use of wood and wood-based materials in contemporary architecture is a separate very broad issue. From the point of view of the Park Hotel concept, it is important that such technology allows to limit heavy earth and foundation works. This in turn makes it possible to minimize physical interference with the terrain. Therefore, such objects can be designed in the existing green complexes. Large hotels of the second half of the twentieth century were built in reinforced concrete technology with the use of heavy equipment and interference with the terrain on an unprecedented scale. At that time, it seemed that the durability of such architecture is its advantage. The experience of the changing trends that led to the dusk and making empty of such facilities makes us reconsider this view. Yes, some of such objects can be revitalized, but it always takes place with difficulties and a relatively long period when the devastated object has a negative impact on the landscape. Therefore, today more important than durability is the possibility of easy recycling – not only of building materials but also of land. Looking from this point of view, we should therefore pay attention to the fact that the adopted technology causes the least losses to the existing ecosystem and natural landscape in the process of building and operating the facility. The commercial successes of hotels – parks also require the introduction of special legal and construction regulations. The point is that the regulations should take into account the specificity of such objects, their impermanence and lightness. So that it would be possible to implement them in places attractive to nature without resorting to a creative interpretation of art. 29. 1 of the Construction Law. 2020 brought another important aspect that could affect the creation of hotel facilities in the form of free-standing, independent residential units. The monthby-month COVID 19 pandemic probably caused an irreversible social revolution, which is a civilization leap as important as the popularization of smart devices with mobile internet access. It is not just the aspect of temporary social isolation. Although this one turned out to be important. Hotels Parks, under certain restrictions, could function much longer than traditional hotels. Separate units, dispersed in the open space, allowed for
keeping a distance from other residents. Intelligent management and stay services implemented in the mode of external deliveries allowed to reduce the contact between guests and staff. However, the transitory nature of the epidemic suggests that these are short-term factors. For trends in the hotel industry, it may be more important to develop long-term habits. The pandemic has forced remote work on an unprecedented scale. While earlier it concerned individual industries, now we were forced to transfer to the network almost all our social, professional, administrative and even health functioning. It is almost sure that some of our activities return to the pre-pandemic state, but a complete recovery seems impossible. It is therefore very likely that a person will no longer be attached to the workplace in the traditional sense. This will affect mobility again and make the division between work and leisure smoother. In this sense, the „garden hotel” allows both silence and isolation, as well as active spending of time in a group. And independent units providing space for various activities – professional and recreational, seem to be much better adapted than traditional hotel rooms.