[Image: Bolivia’s salt hotel; photographed by Jose Luis Quintana/Reuters].
Ten years ago this month, I took a Polish-language tour of a salt mine outside Kraków – because, at the bottom of the mine, there was a church made from salt.
It was carved from the walls of the mine itself.
That increasingly distant and somewhat surreal experience – I don’t speak a word of Polish, and everyone on the tour was from Austria – came to mind when I read about a new salt hotel in Bolivia.
It’s a hotel made from salt.
According to National Geographic, the hotel is “constructed solely of salt blocks on the white plains of the Salar de Uyuni in southwestern Bolivia.” The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt desert. Until tourists began visiting it, however, “the only inhabitants of the chilly, harsh region were salt miners, who still extract 25,000 tons of salt annually from the 10 billion tons available.”
I know at least this writer is curious if they’ll someday build an exact, to-scale replica of the city of Edinburgh: shining there, in the Andean heat, with white cubic walls, the city will then be shaved down – bit by bit, brick by brick – and drunk with shots of tequila. You can salt your chips with it.
Or perhaps architectural enthusiasts will forego the Snow Show… and buy tickets to Bolivia, instead: the Salt Show.
Mineral pavilions designed by Zaha Hadid. Sodium towers by OMA.