An ambitious concept that calls for outdated hotels to be injected with greenery has been awarded the top prize at the 2014 Radical Innovation Awards.

The Green Air Hotel concept was created by architect Lip Chiong’s Shanghai-based firm Studio Twist and builds on the growing trend of implementing gardens to combat pollution and clean indoor air.

The Green Air Hotel features an indoor greenhouse, a green façade and a green air room that is designed to “grow fresh air.”

Green Air Hotel by Studio Twist

Green Air Hotel by Studio Twist. (click for original size)

Studio Twist’s winning concept was one of 100 entrants in the competition, which was looking for “ideas that will have near-term, positive impact on hospitality.”

The firm presented its idea to an industry jury panel at last month’s Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas. Of the two finalists, the audience decided on Green Air Hotel as the winner with the firm, with the firm securing $10,000 to put toward the concept.

The hotel centres around the idea of refreshing existing hotels in China, which is in the midst of a pollution crisis.

Studio Twist noted that air pollution in China is so bad, the government is encouraging people to stay indoors. The firm asked, however, how clean the air really is indoors.

Many hotels in China are outdated and in urgent need of an upgrade.

China's pollution crisis

China’s pollution crisis: people encouraged to stay indoors

“This hotel concept has interior and exterior green lungs–where greenhouse gardens act as air filters to remove harmful toxins in the air and replenish it with oxygen,” the firm said.

The design works from the inside out to create a healthy environment for guests whether they are in their hotel room or in common areas throughout the hotel. The exterior of the building can be clad in a green facade to combat exterior pollution.

In a video demonstrating the idea, the hotel featured plants distributed throughout large spaces such as a green air room in the lobby, and open spaces offered and large scale greenery. Vertical gardens rise through hotel atriums, while smaller plants grow in hallways and in hotel rooms. Plants on hotel room balconies complement a green facade and green spaces surrounding the building.

strategy to remove indoor air toxins

The strategy to remove indoor air toxins

“The Green Air Atrium can be incorporated with HVAC vents so that air flow is circulated via the plants as a filter,” the firm said. “By turning the atrium into a greenhouse garden, a fresh air sink is created likened to an indoor green lung, where all public facilities benefit from scenic views and fresh air supply.”

For the competition, Studio Twist competed with an array of ambitious ideas, including a hotel with 3D printed interiors and a student winner from the University of Melbourne.

US-based Code Design Studio presented a concept for a hotel which offers an augmented reality and is furnished with 3D printed interiors.

sky lofts

Sky Lofts for Sydney’s abandoned monorail beams

“The 3D-printed parts, reinforced with latest composite materials, not only enhances the “buildability” of structures, but also takes into account different emotional states of guests to increase the impact of the design,” Code Design Studio said.

Sky Lofts by University of Melbourne students Evelyn Choy and Evelyn Hartojo cleverly upcycled abandoned monorail beamways in Sydney to create “pedestrian- and bike-friendly boardwalks with prefabricated accommodation, cafes and reception lofts.”