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Taking a Bite Out of the Past:
A First Look at The Dracula Land Hotel

New York Carver Newsletter community member, Mircea Moldovan, shares an upclose view, below, of preliminary sketches for the Dracula Land Hotel in Bistritza now in the planning stages. 4th year Romanian architectural students led by Moldovan and other faculty at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca eagerly took the opportunity to create the plans based on the legendary figure, Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula...

To make this theme park and hotel attractive we tried to relate as often as possible to the count's image, personality and personifications. One of his legendary transformations was the bat, the night creature that feeds on blood. So the structure imitates a bat.

It is the modern version of Dracula's castle; it combines the myth and the tourist attraction with the latest technology and the scent of the dark past of Transylvania. The hotel possesses a certain shape and geometry, offering a well-written scenario of alternating light and shadow, colors with non-colors, a certain austerity intended by not completely finishing certain surfaces, using stone and wood combined with steel and copper sheets. By night the high-tech "castle" should become the world of the dark, the home of ghosts and terror, an unreal world suggested by lights, scenery and mythic creatures that should animate the hotel.

To create all that, the hotel became a steel, concrete, stone and glass bat that opens up its wings to receive all tourists fascinated by the legend of the bloody count. The entrance is well emphasized by the metallic head of the creature, covered in glass, and which also articulates the wings that cover the hotel rooms.

The scenario also includes illuminating the roofs, that imitates the limbs of a bat and also offers a few secret and exciting paths that lead to deserted tombs with strange engraved poetry, to a Dracula museum, to a ship wreck reconstructing Dracula's sea trip, an alee resembling old London, a wax museum exhibit and an underground "scary movie" theatre. The idea of the bat-hotel brings the Dracula myth into the future, it creates a technological mystery more than a religious one; the count becomes a 21st century demon evolving naturally from the original Bram Stoker's fictional character.

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