Taipei is fast becoming one of the major design centres in Asia, and amba Hotels & Resorts reflects this through its design-led properties. The newest addition to the company is amba Taipei Songshan, a hotel that features an eclectic mix of natural materials, bold graphics and stunning views.
If you've ever seen the film adaption of E.M. Forster's Room with a View, you will remember the scene where Miss Lucy Honeychurch — played by Helena Bonham Carter — opens her wooden shutters to reveal the magnificent skyline of Florence from her modest pensione. In a similar way, the new amba Taipei Songshan hotel presents guests with stunning vistas of the city of Taipei from every room, including the breathtaking Taipei 101.
The third hotel under the amba brand from Taiwan's homegrown Ambassador Hotel Group, amba Songshan continues the company's promise to deliver a design-led property to savvy guests from across the globe. "There are currently three amba hotels in Taipei, each a reflection of its neighbourhood. Amba Taipei Ximending is retro chic, a celebration of the trendy district in the 1970s. amba Taipei Zhongshan is a stylish address in the culturally rich Zhongshan neighbourhood, located in the centre of Taipei city," says Hubert Lee, president of Ambassador Hotels & Restaurants.
"amba Taipei Songshan in eastern Taipei, with spectacular views of Taipei 101 and a chic urban vibe, is the most cosmopolitan in the amba collection… Regardless of the location, each amba hotel was designed with the brand's DNA: connectivity, creativity, and conservation."
Rather than relying on one interior design firm to complete the hotel's design from head-to-toe, the interiors were crafted to fit Lee's unique vision, with a range of artists and designers from across Taiwan coming together to work on the overall effect.
Upon entering the hotel, some of the first things to strike guests are the giant bamboo lanterns that hang from the lofty ceilings. Crafted for the hotel by a team of artisans in central Taiwan from eco bamboo, the lights include 17 different hand-woven designs that dapple the space with unique patterns. Taking six artists two weeks to create the largest lantern — which stands almost three metres high — several sections had to be woven onsite during the complex installation process.
The bamboo theme is continued into the walkway that leads to the elevators, where an installation crafted from the material lines one side of the corridor. To juxtapose these natural materials, bold graphic posters feature repeatedly throughout the hotel, standing front and centre behind the reception desk to create a fun welcome for guests. Next to the reception, the communal space is a social area featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, a foosball table and a mishmash of quirky furniture.
Each guestroom has a unique graphic on the door that corresponds to the room number, and inside more of the signature posters can be found hanging over the beds, adding strong pops of colour to the largely neutral interiors. Colourful furniture and industrial-style ceiling lamps made of silicon-rubber complement the environmentally-friendly wooden flooring.
This is an excerpt from the “Accommodating Design" article from the October 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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