If only…hotel ballrooms were more standout


Dara Huang and Sofia Hagen of Design Haus Liberty imagine bringing ballrooms back to the heart of the hotel experience


Most hotels generate their main revenue through lush and luxurious ballrooms, yet paradoxically most ballrooms are located in the dark corners of the basement. In order to enhance the grand experience a ballroom should offer and to amplify its importance, we had the fantastical idea to put the ballroom on the first floor of a luxury hotel and have it be connected to a roof-top garden, which would drip all the way down into the ballroom by means of a hanging garden.

The connection from ballroom to roof garden would be through a catwalk-like, large spiralling staircase where we could parade models surrounded by the lit hanging gardens during Fashion Week, have the bride walking down the spiralling aisle at her wedding, have acrobats perform along the stair or abseil themselves down the hanging gardens at special events. The central garden atrium would also act as a stage for performances, with the public being able to view them from the auditorium like roof garden.

Dara Huang (right) is the founder of award-winning architecture and design studio Design Haus Liberty. Since 2013, she and her team have been designing wildly creative buildings all across the world. Before that, Huang graduated from Harvard University with a BA and MA in architecture. She then worked at Herzog de Meuron in Switzerland and Foster + Partners in London. During that time, she worked on Skyscraper, 56 Leonard Street, New York City and Tate Modern II in London. Design Haus Liberty work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and Somerset House.

Sofia Hagen is design director at Design Haus Liberty. For the past 10 years she’s worked on international projects in the UK and China, including a 1.5m sqft commercial fit-out in Guangzhou. After graduating with her MA in architecture at Zaha Hadid’s studio at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, she worked at Zaha Hadid Architects London, Odile Decq Architects Paris, and exhibited at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the MAK Vienna, the Arch Moscow and the Venice Biennale.





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