The shape of things to come

It looks like a machine that makes crop circles, but it's actually the winning proposal for a new Hilton Hotel in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.

Conceptually, the polo mint design is apparently based on the Yurt, a traditional Mongol settlement, but it might also be explained by more pragmatic considerations. Firstly, the weather - the outer circle acts as a handy windbreak from the harsh desert plains, allowing all the facilities - restaurants, bars, a concert stage and swimming pool - to sit inside the hole. Secondly, the shape also minimizes the distance between rooms and amenities, ideal for the lazy modern traveller, whilst simultaneously allowing every room to enjoy panoramic views of the flora, fauna and... golf course. Even passing air passengers have been catered for - the complex will resemble a giant flower when seen from above. How thoughtful. Designed by VMX architects in Amsterdam, work on the 5 star, 300 room hotel is scheduled to begin in 2010. 

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