With a flowing cladding echoing the Naga River, The Carmen – a 4-storey boutique hotel – welcomes its guest to discover the serenity of a waterfront in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. Standing on a 2,415-square meter property with a gross floor area of 3,100 square meters, it services 45 guest rooms supported by amenities and provisions for retail at the ground floor.
Located in the busiest road of city, the project refines an existing structure chosen to be converted into a four-star hotel. the position of the actual building and the setup of the surroundings make any natural view difficult to frame from the front facade. Starting from this, the approach was to design the building with an inward orientation, leading to the main point of interest of the site – the Naga River, where numerous festivities such as the famous Penafrancia Festival take place. This concept of introversion leads the eyes of passersby to a set of teasers, serving as a preview of what lies inside the hotel.
The Carmen develops a set of visual cues inviting its users into its inner charm and engaging them to a sequence of discovery stages gradually unfolding to the serene pool deck at the back with an admirable view of the Naga river. The facade reflects the general concept of the project by draping the building through a dense aluminum cladding in wood finish. Lifted from the ground, the opening created allows people to peek through the building interior. The palette in hues of white, black, and brown maintain the serenity of its clean, minimalist massing.
The pool deck – abundant with natural wood tones and lush greens – heading toward the river is designed to frame its view, making the Carmen Hotel the perfect place to witness the renowned Penafrancia River Festival.