Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội authorities approved a plan to construct a new hotel in September at 22-32 Lê Thái Tổ Street, formerly home to the two-storey supermarket Intimex. The approval, however, has raised eyebrows among architectural specialists.
Trần Huy Ánh, a member of Vietnam Association of Architects, said the association has submitted a document to Hà Nội’s People’s Committee on the architectural structure and aesthetic value of the hotel that is planned to be built.
Most members of the association agreed that the new building should function as a service, commercial centre and hotel; however, its architecture does not suit the architectural space and landscape surrounding Hoàn Kiếm Lake, a special national site, they said.
They argued that the facade of the new hotel would not mesh well with the surrounding buildings, and that the size of the pillars and entrance are not standardised, especially the architectural details and colours, which evoke a sophisticated but strange artistic impression.
“The area surrounding Sword Lake is pretty sensitive and draws attention from authorities of all levels and specialists; therefore, the original architectural space and landscape of the special national site should be preserved,” Ánh said.
According to Phạm Sỹ Liêm, former vice chairman of Hà Nội’s People’s Committee, the construction of a hotel by the lake is acceptable, but needs to take two main issues into consideration.
“Firstly, it should have two stories like the previous supermarket, or have three stories like the surrounding buildings, but must not be built higher because it might break the harmony of the landscape and make the area around the Sword Lake smaller,” Liêm said.
“Another problem is how to prevent hotel construction from affecting traffic in the area, which is often crowded,” he added.
Bùi Thị An, the National Assembly Deputy of Hà Nội, thinks a hotel shouldn’t be built on ‘golden land’ – an area demonstrating all the special features of the city.
“Hà Nội does not lack land so seriously that a hotel has to be built on limited space by the lake,” An said. “However, the plan can be taken into consideration if the building of the hotel can contribute to the city’s economy significantly.”
“Otherwise, I suggest the local authority reconsider this decision, because the city’s population is expected to be distributed equally instead of being focused densely in central Hà Nội,” she said.
An also suggested that a landmark to commemorate the thousand-year-old capital should be constructed rather than a modern hotel. — VNS