Located on the banks of Yanqi Lake, around one hour's drive from the heart of Beijing city centre, Sunrise Kempinski Hotel pays homage to both landscape and architecture
Designed by Shanghai Huadu Architect Design Company, the orb-like structure of the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel exists peacefully in its setting, with 10,000 glass panels on the exterior reflecting the surrounding mountains, land and sky.
Inside, the magnificence of the design continues with an interior that is largely inspired by the idea of framing views. Here, DiLeonardo — headquartered in the USA with offices in Hong Kong, Manila and Dubai — has created elements of intrigue throughout the hotel, experimenting with a juxtaposition of solids and voids, light and dark and natural versus man-made materials.
The design for the hotel was very much an exercise in international teamwork for the practice. "From its early stages through final implementation, the design was a complete and thorough team effort. Our studio created an innovative process to share research and creative process. We had some of our Hong Kong team members join us in our USA headquarters to work through this creative process," says Giana DiLeonardo, lead partner on the project.
Successfully working within the confines of the structural sphere was an interesting new challenge for the practice. "Maintaining a balance of geometries within the architectural shell proved to be a significant challenge in which we found an opportunity to infuse geometric forms into unexpected spaces, design elements or features," she adds. "This was accomplished by establishing a harmony between orthogonal and organic spaces."
Arriving through an entrance shaped like the mouth of a fish — a symbol of prosperity in Chinese culture — guests enter into a lobby that uses art as its centrepiece. Located around the central staircase, the sculptural art feature is composed of thousands of glass spectrums hanging from ceiling to floor on stainless steel cables; the design reflects the mountainous region that surrounds the hotel beyond Yanqi Lake. The panels, each with their own unique pattern, have been layered in such a way that the viewer experiences a differing image from every angle.
This is an excerpt from the “Framing the View" article from the October 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.
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