Posted in Projects on 1 June, 2016

Located in a picturesque pine forest in the Poltava region, Relax Park Verholy is one of the most stylish and comfortable hotels in Ukraine. Hamish Kilburn caught up with Dmitry Bonesko of YOD Design to find out more about the award-winning project…

Inspired for city dwellers who want to feel at home with nature, Relax Park Verholy hotel complex is sedate, quiet and far removed from hectic urban life. The main task for YOD Design was to integrate the hotel into the environment and establish the underlining communication with nature. “We used innovative technologies and natural materials such as stone, corten steel, wood, leather and glass coming in a harmonious dialogue with external environment,” says architect Dmitry Bonesko. The interiors blend into the location and add to the theme of simple luxury with a deliberate attempt to integrate biophilic design throughout.

The lobby is housed in what looks like a glass box. “For cladding exterior walls we used heat-treated board from local alder trees,” explains Bonesko. “Its heterogeneous structure is similar to the bark of pine trees, so the building is harmonised with the surrounding forest.”

22 rooms of different types are available within two buildings. In contrast to city hotels, often with a lack of outside space, the rooms are equipped with generous balconies so that guests can enjoy the tranquil environment and feel undisturbed during their stay. “Wear-resistant panels and glass replaced short-life plasterboards,” adds Bonesko. By means of black colour, the design highlights key visual and conceptual points. The forest atmosphere, for example, is reached through the use of decorative nesting boxes, which perch to look like branches and wooden birds – the symbol of Relax Park Verholy.

Three guesthouses realised in alpine style cannot be called ‘chalets’ in the ordinary sense of the word. Most likely this is an allusion to the theme, a game with forms and materials. “The object is free of vintage textures and details, which is typical of Alpine houses,” says Bonesko. “Main elements of ‘chalet’ such as extending gable roof, decoration materials and a fire-place have been realised in modern fashion.” The design is minimalistic; the colours are restful and natural. The guesthouses are built from lightweight metal frame structures. Instead of the usual solid base, each house stands on the so-called screw base. “This technology sets quickly without damaging any trees or their root system,” explains Bonesko. The exterior is covered with heat-treated plates made of solid alder. The interior floors are tiled and equipped with water heating. The walls are covered with plywood from veneered oak,

For relaxation and recreation there is an innovative spa. It features two heated pools, a modern bathhouse with different types of sweat bathes (hammam, infrared sauna, Russian bath and sanarium), massage rooms and a jacuzzi zone. On the second floor there are 17 additional rooms. “We kept up the minimalist aesthetic of the whole complex and ensured that we only used natural materials,” adds Bonesko.

The Food & Forest restaurant deserves additional attention. It serves as a public catering facility both for guests living in the complex and for visitors who have made up their mind just to have a good time al fresco, breaking away from hustle and bustle of the city. The restaurant’s concept was predetermined by its location: far away from the city and in the heart of a pine forest. “We wanted to create a place for recreation that would correspond to the expectations of a modern urban man,” says Bonesko. “It was also important to integrate the restaurant into the natural landscape and maximise the profit from such attractive location.” Using natural materials (stone, wood, copper, corten steel, leather, slate), the design is modern and visually open.

At this stage the hotel shelters 62 rooms. Guests can stay in one of two hotel buildings (in total 44 rooms), in one of three chalets, in the SPA complex, or select one of seven guesthouses. Positioned far away from metropolis mayhem, Park Relax Verholy’s subdued design and architecture encourages guests to do as the name suggests, relax.

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