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Design Notes: The Summit

Worlds away from the bland corporate aesthetic of many event venue and facilities, The Summit at the InterContinental® Danang Sun Peninsula shares the same wildly imaginative design ethos as the rest of the resort - where the "Myth meets Luxury". Architect Bill Bensley brought together a global array of inspirations underneath one highly symmetrical roof, a shape which he borrowed from Vietnamese temples.

Set at the highest point of the resort property, The Summit offers panoramic views from the sky to the sea and features the resort’s signature black-and-white color scheme. However, a colorful pop of chartreuse green (seen on Hoi An lanterns and ceramics from the traditional craft village of Bat Trang) welcomes visitors. The building’s brass centerpiece is a nine-meter-tall conical hat wearing hostess, and surrounding her are eight colossal gilded pineapples. (Eight is a lucky number in Chinese numerology because its name is similar to the word for “wealth.”) 

Why pineapples? The pineapple has a long history as the symbol of hospitality. Christopher Columbus was the first European to encounter the tropical fruit, which became a sought-after luxury item back in the Old World. Years later, New England sea captains would return from voyages to the Caribbean and spear a pineapple on a fence post outside their homes to let neighbors know of their safe return. The pineapple was an invitation for friends to visit, sample the captain’s exotic food and drink and listen to his tales of adventure. Over time, colonial innkeepers added this symbol of hospitality to their signs and early American architects incorporated carved wooden, molded mortar and cast metal pineapples as a favorite design motif.

Heading down one level to the ballroom, you’ll be struck by the three-dimensional black and white walls—which reference the jagged contours of pineapple skin. You’ll also find a bright yellow color scheme as well as paintings inspired by a serious reference to 16th-centuryGerman etchings.

All combine to deliver the same message from The Summit: Welcome!