Perusing the opulent images of Shangri La hotel at Qufu, China by AB Concept, from Hong Kong, one can imagine arriving by caravan in the entourage of one of China’s former emperors. The 8 metre high spaces of the public areas along with the intense richness of classic Chinese colours of imperial red, jade green and fuscia, contrasted against light stone floors and dark timber wall details, create an overwhelmingly dramatic theatrical experience. Two mature trees to the internal courtyard beyond the lobby, bring the harmony of the surrounding landscape inside. The hanging metal screens are reminiscent of a forest canopy. Light seems to permeate the lofty spaces as it would in a Chinese elm forest.
Qufu’s main attraction is the nearby Temple of Confucius, where his principals of order, hierarchy and harmony inspired the design. A contemporary interpretation of traditional rhythms and symmetry found in classic Chinese architecture is apparent There is a refined family of custom designed, giant lantern, screens and repeated Confucian motifs, creating a signature for the hotel. As usual in AB Concept’s work, there is a refined and balanced combination of elements and a rigorous design language to tell a distinct story and cohesive journey through the property. My favourite space is the second image above with the midnight blue-black screens with oyster velvet chairs with pink piping – Such a unique colour combo, that creates an overall purplish hue.
The palatial grandeur of this 322 room hotel is highlighted by the verticality of columns, screens and wall linings, creating a processional journey from space to space, reinforced by the rhythm of subtly changing similar elements. A diverse colour palate is used sparingly and cleverly, so as not to detract from architectural elements, but to focus attention and provide intimacy and warmth for guests. The images conjure for me, what I imagine Shanghai of the 1920’s would have been like. A subtle oriental deco decadence. I have never heard of Qufu before, but now, I must go.
Images from Pinterest.
Check out the Puyu in Wuhan