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Hanoi backs plan to build hotel near iconic lake, despite objections

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 17:41 GMT+7

A plan to build a hotel next to the iconic Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, which experts say will destroy the harmony of the surrounding architecture once completed, has received the go-ahead from the capital’s authorities.

Intimex Vietnam has been seeking permission to start the construction of a multistory hotel at 22-32 Le Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, fronting the Hoan Kiem, or “Lake of the returned sword” in Vietnamese, in Hanoi.

The municipal administration has approved the project, requesting relevant agencies and departments support the developer to complete the investment and begin work by this September.

Intimex Vietnam should also work closely with those agencies to ensure the project is completed on time and within the law.

The decision dealt a blow to the Vietnam Association of Architects (VAA), which had called for careful consideration by the Hanoi administration before approving the project.

According to the VAA, while it is suitable for a hotel to be built in the area, the design of the new building is not in harmony with the overall architecture and landscape of the lake’s surroundings.

The color and architectural styles of the hotel are “complex but monotonous, and create an out of place impression,” the VAA wrote in a petition.

The VAA underlined that the Hanoi administration should pay special attention to the need to preserve the architectural beauty of the surroundings of Hoan Kiem Late, a national heritage site.

“There are two important problems that need to be solved in the case of the Intimex hotel,” architect Pham Thanh Tung told Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper on Sunday.

Tung said the front design of the building should be in harmony with the nearby architecture, which are all small-sized buildings and have no more than three stories.

The second problem is that the streets around Hoan Kiem Lake are expected to be turned into walking streets, and Tung said he is wondering “how vehicles could enter the hotel then?”

Tung pressed that the hotel must have a parking lot, to ensure that the new building does not cause further traffic congestion in the area.

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