Global interior design leaders Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) contrasted traditional Chinese architecture with the modern spirit of China’s capital in their styling of the new Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. Developed to reflect Beijing’s cultural richness and contemporary edge, the 313-room flagship is a new icon for the Four Seasons brand and perfect fit for its location in the heart of China’s oldest and most progressive city.
Opening its doors this fall, the hotel’s linear, bold architecture provides a backdrop to abstract art, decorative light fixtures and unexpected materials, in a union of Imperial Chinese elements and contemporary design. The result is a harmoniously balanced space, layered with modern and traditional references.
“We designed the hotel to exude a strong sense of pride and place, incorporating both old China and a national spirit open to modernity,” said Anne Chan, Associate Director of HBA in Hong Kong. “This is the first signature product of Four Seasons in Beijing, so it required its own visual identity, achieved through a subtle yet sophisticated and intriguing design.”
Drawing on principles of traditional Chinese architecture, the main entry to the hotel impresses with its wide façade, reminiscent of the city’s Imperial Palaces. Inside, the grand two-story Lobby Lounge is warm, vibrant and energising, with ceiling panels in Imperial gold-leaf and a luxury hand-crafted carpet with dragon motif bringing good fortune to all who enter. Fabrics are rich in texture, including mohair, silks and exotic leather, in elegant tones of gold, rust, grey and blue. Meanwhile, walls and structural columns are clad with creamy white onyx, polished chrome metal and high-gloss black Zebrano wood.
Key to the hotel’s impressive contemporary art collection is Qin Feng’s Landscape of Desires No. 4 & 5 – a two-dimensional metal wall piece inspired by traditional Chinese landscape paintings – that was specially commissioned for the lobby. A striking amber crystal light fixture, made from three tons of Czech blown glass, provides fluidity and softness against the lobby’s strong architectural space. The atrium is also home to Australian artist Jayne Dyer’s mesmerizing installation of 400 polished stainless steel butterflies, soaring up to the skylight 66 meters above and continuing the sense of movement, flow and transition.
Elsewhere, contemporary international art and classic Chinese influences continue to set the tone, from decorative sculptures in jade, marble and bronze to vibrant works of glass adorning walls and cabinets in sumptuously appointed guest rooms. The same concept is repeated in the floor design, with hand-crafted carpets throughout the hotel featuring bold, geometric lines, combined with the soft brushstrokes of Chinese water color paintings.
Design of The Spa is likewise rooted in Beijing’s architectural heritage, styled after a traditional Chinese Tea Garden and Courtyard. “Using the architectural language of the Tea Garden for the basis of the design allows the large volume of space to be broken down into pavilions, creating both layers of interest and more intimate gathering areas,” said Ms Chan.
But like the design of the hotel itself, the 1,700 sqm spa with 11 treatment rooms takes traditional Chinese elements and blends them with modern design to meet the demands of today’s discerning clientele. Heavy layering of Chinese architectural detail is juxtaposed by light materials and colours to create a tranquil and soothing environment.
“The hotel’s strong architectural elements and central location demanded truly unique interiors,” said General Manager, Sanjiv Hulugalle. “We are grateful to HBA who have made the hotel not only a window to Beijing, but also a reflection of all that makes Beijing such an historic and vibrant capital city.”
Source = HBA