The Grand Emily Hotel is a new addition to the Emily Resort located in Vynnyky, a town near Lviv in Ukraine. Completed in 2022 by YOD Group, the hotel was designed by lead architects Volodymyr Nepiyvoda and Dmytro Bonesko. Occupying an area of 550 square metres, the Grand Emily Hotel is a striking and spacious addition to the resort.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet1
Reception area_©Yevhenii Avramenko

Design Philosophy  

The structure of the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby adheres to the principles of organic architecture developed by Frank Lloyd Wright at the turn of the 20th century. It asserts that a design should be appropriate for its natural surroundings and blend in. This style, known as the Secession style, emerged in the 1890s and expanded to Lviv in the first decade of the 20th century. It intends to develop into a fresh, contemporary style in which the architecture and interior design of a building would naturally meld together. 

A visit to Grand Emily Hotel resembles a tour of Western Ukraine. You can see green mountain hills on the right. There are nighttime shepherd fires lit in the distance. You can see a serene lake on the left. When it is windy, the water’s surface is covered in ripples, and you can hear the reeds on its banks rustling. The décor reflects all of that. One can witness vast vistas, vibrant hues, flavours, and sensations, kind people, a desire for life, and existential bliss. These represent the four elements notion as seen locally in Ukraine.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet2
Floor plan_©Yevhenii Avramenko

The architects of the Grand Emily Hotel placed a strong emphasis on creating a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor areas. The lounge area, which can be accessed from the atrium-filled central hall, features two speculative patios. These patios are square-shaped areas furnished with couches arranged around a central column. Inside the column are fireplaces encased in glass, adding to the cosy and inviting atmosphere of the space. Overall, the design of the hotel’s lounge area is meant to promote relaxation and tranquillity for all who visit.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet4
Lounge area_©Yevhenii Avramenko
Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet3
Fireplace_©Yevhenii Avramenko

Sycamore installation 

The iconic picture of the entire complex of the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby is the large-scale installation with the hung-up sycamore in the hotel atrium. A large chandelier in the atrium was discarded in favour of a powerfully impactful structure. A tree represents roots and family values, development and growth, a solid trunk, and flexible branches. It links space to the ground. Before being hanged, the sycamore tree was meticulously cleaned, dried, and stabilised. To include this tree precisely in the visualisations, its shape was 3D scanned. The mighty tree impacts five stories. The rhythmical geometry of the walls, the horizontal lines of the flooring, the verticals of the boards on the wall covering, and the diagonals of the metal railings on the stairs contrast with their organic profile. Guests at the hotel can lie on a round leather pouffe in the hallway to experience the tree’s roots up close.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet5
Sycamore installation_©Yevhenii Avramenko

To avoid using too much ornamentation, they do not include picture zones in the designs. Instead, they created specific distinctive components that help to convey a place’s overall theme. Such solutions catch the attention and develop into organic photo opportunities. From the various floors of the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby, you can see five distinct sections of the sycamore tree, so the guests get five unusual photo zones simultaneously.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet6
Sycamore installation_©Yevhenii Avramenko

Materials

The hotel and restaurant are a part of the Emily Resort, which was created by YOD Group using a tactile, natural aesthetic. They opted for raw materials, soft surfaces, and neutral, natural colours. The interior is a reflection of the local environment and scenery. They wanted to capture the visual lightness and tell the story of the morning breeze brushing the reeds as it swept over the lake’s surface. Through the design of the boards they utilised to cover the hall’s walls, they could evoke this feeling. Each panel is secured in a flexible groove. By shifting the first board in the row, one can alter the pattern on the wall. 

Various natural and natural-looking materials, including ‘Thermory’ thermally modified Drift cladding, are utilised throughout the walls of the lobby of the Grand Emily Hotel. The cladding was chosen for its weathered, rustic appearance because it aims to resemble reclaimed wood without compromising quality or toughness. The cladding gives the lobby ‘touchable surfaces,’ and creates a natural backdrop for the room in Black Pearl and Smoked Brandy hues.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet7
Restroom interiors_©Yevhenii Avramenko
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Black pearl hues_©Yevhenii Avramenko
Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet9
Black pearl hues_©Yevhenii Avramenko

Local context and Sustainability

This adaptation of the Frank Lloyd Wright method to the interior design of the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby is named terroir design. “Terroir” refers to the intricate environmental influences that influence a wine’s distinctive personality. If the particular vine grows in a different location, it gets a distinct personality. On similar lines, the design represents a local context. The interiors stretch and resonate with the environment. According to Ar. Volodymyr Nepiyvoda, the interiors are also a component of the complete structure in which a person feels at ease and relaxes. The cladding Drift by Thermory is entirely made with natural wood. The wood was sourced from sustainable forests with chemical-free modification.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet10
Lounge Area_©Yevhenii Avramenko

The Grand Emily Hotel Lobby is a truly remarkable space that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit it. The installation of a tree at the centre of the lobby adds a tactile, natural aesthetic to the space and represents the essence of Ukraine. The lobby’s design as a whole adheres to the principles of organic architecture, creating a sense of connection and accord with the natural world. These elements combine to create an experience that is both unique and memorable for visitors. The lobby’s blend of natural beauty and adherence to organic architecture leaves a lasting impact on all who have the pleasure of visiting it.

Grand Emily Hotel Lobby by YOD Group - Sheet11
Materials and furnishings_©Yevhenii Avramenko

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Author

Currently in her 4th year of Architecture at IIT Roorkee, Avantika believes that architecture is a tool for meeting people’s aspirations and providing them with better experiences. When coupled with design thinking, architecture and research have the potential to enrich our societies and have a constructive impact. Creating socially, culturally, and environmentally sustainable spaces is what architecture means to her. Her experience as an architecture student has shifted her world view and taught her to be more observant and empathetic.

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