Washington hotel finds creative solution in shared roof design

The design of The Society Hotel Bingen in Washington, responded to contextual factors—adaptive reuse of a former school, 20 hotel cabins, a covered pathway, and a spa building—connecting the disparate structures through a shared roof.

The cantilevered roof also works as a covered walkway, providing porches for the cabins. The connected roof forms a ring-like configuration creating a boundary between the hotel premises and the outside space. Within the bounded framework lies a courtyard featuring a garden, allowing visitors to enjoy views of the interior landscape as well as the exterior landscape composed of hills located along the Columbia River Gorge—a National Scenic Area. The project’s site is near the waterfront but separated from it by a series of industrial facilities.

Another contextual factor playing into the design was the need to respect privacy of the residential neighborhood the hotel is located in. Hence the hotel is enclosed yet it is designed to be open to embrace the landscape, paying heed to the design concept of the “edited panorama.”

Within the ring, a community spa building serves as a central gathering space with shared amenities for the hotel’s visitors. The spa maintains the same material palette as the surrounding cabins yet has a distinct volumetric form. Avoiding a singular front entrance, the building instead opens onto each side of the ring. On its interior, the structure expands upward to a large skylight, which washes light over a series of pools below. Four large piers shape this collective space, while additionally containing more private areas, including changing rooms, sauna, kitchen, and massage rooms.

Waechter Architecture is the team behind the architecture of the project, with Blossom as interior and landscape designer, Orange Construction as site manager, and Formworks Building as the sanctuary design and consultant.

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