Project Team

Zaw Lin Myat


Hupin Resort Chalet Wing

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Inle Lake, Shan State

2014

Completed

12 acres

25,600 sqft (800 sqft per cottage)

3.5-star Resort

GTS Zaw Min

Timber-frame
Stilt structure

Hupin Resort Chalet Wing was a rebirth. In December 2013, at the height of a tourist season, a homemade fire balloon released from a nearby village who were celebrating a pagoda festival, landed on the thatched roof of the resort. It destroyed 17 cottages. There was a rush to rebuild while knowing that it will not meet the needs of the current tourist season. The clearance of the site and preparation to rebuild for the next season began as soon as possible.


When Zaw Lin Myat was tasked to design new cottages at a resort in Inle lake, the first question that was raised was what kind of new experience do we want to deliver? The previous cottages were simple but they were not architecturally significant to be restored. When a new Hupin resort wing is reborn, we know it has to be uniquely Inle that captures the essence of our traditions and values. Zaw was looking for images for inspirations that yell this is Inle and this is Myanmar. We came across the 20th century painting that depicts the past environment and memories so well: Royal Ploughing Ceremony by Saya Chon. The image is almost similar to the site that we have in Inle with mountains and paddy fields. It was not the vernacular architecture you can see in the painting but the setting itself. Set against the mountains, the ceremonial ambiance is captured by the people surrounding the entourage, especially the distinctively dressed officers who underlined the entire landscape. These cottages are meant to evoke those quintessential Myanmar characteristics. The chalets on water were born. The design is simple enough to rebuild quickly with local builders and craftsmen as the time depends.


The inside experience is also uniquely Myanmar. Relying on natural daylight as a sustainable source, we designed skylights and clerestory windows for privacy, large windows towards the lake and mountains for views, and these windows brighten up the interior. The high ceiling for the bedroom takes on the shape of the roof spire and assists in natural ventilation when opening the windows as hot interior air rises to sweep in cool air. Inntha people build their houses on stilts in water for many generations. They hammer down wooden logs 15-20 feet into the bottom of the lake without the help of any machine. It is this type of construction that gives the resort a unique Inle atmosphere.

The floating chalets have the amenities of a comfortable modern living such as enclosed toilets, showers, bathtubs, sewage system that digest and discharge safe, clean, and nutrients-filled water back to the lake. The guest may enjoy living the Inle life on the lake.


Hupin Resort Chalets are designed to bring nostalgia with a familiar past, yet gives a new experience with the timeless Inle Lake. A resort wing rose from ashes.

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