Changchun Hotel Complex
The proposed project is near a Park and surrounded mainly by residential quarters. The total site area is approximately 4 hectares. Due to its location close to the park, the hotel benefits from an excellent environment, correspondingly offers an excellent view.
Option 1 takes inspiration on the arch as one of the most classical western architectural elements. Starting from the traditional composition of arcades as seen in palaces and aqueducts, it then experiments and plays with rhythm and proportion to translate those characteristics into a contemporary language. The theme of the arch unifies the three proposal areas, giving continuity to Hotel, Conference Center, and Commercial Village allowing it to be understood as one building complex. Nonetheless, variations are powerful enough to bring forth a particular character and brand to each section, making them stand out on their own.
In the Hotel, the softness of the curve brings elegance into the composition, as it visually reduces the weight of the building, making it seem slender and lighter. Almost as an architectural skin, the arcade works as a unifying element that conceals the complexity and variety of uses and presents a harmonious front. The clear readable language creates a powerful image and identity to the building, easily recognizable in the urban context. Light gray stone is the main envisioned material for the arcade as the outer skin, while internally, a semi-independent inner skin of curtain wall alternates metal and glass elements in different patterns and dispositions to adapt to the internal spaces and create a dialogue with the external façade.
The lobby is the main space of the building and is defined by a path of monumental arches that rise to 20 meters high at the geometrical center of the hotel. These arches emphasize the symmetric disposition of the building and frame the view of the park, bringing nature into the space. The whole volume of the Hotel rests over a 6-meter high podium that conceals the parking and main service areas from the public with an entrance garden that also distances the guest areas from the main street.
The Conference Center introduces weight in the proposal, having an imposing presence over the public areas on the north part of the plot and marking the start of the complex. It is built by two volumes: a clear, lighter, and open one, versus a heavier, darker and more enclosed one. Consistently, the first contains the entry hall and related facilities, managing the access and the relationship with the hotel. Meanwhile, the second volume encloses the ballroom and multifunctional rooms with a thick metallic façade and few, but big and visually artistic openings, which facilitate the multifunctional character of the internal spaces. The color and texture of the metallic elements here, contrast and dominate over the clear grays of the entry volume, giving it a particular presence.
For the Commercial Village, the arcade experimentation takes a more human scale as it adapts to smaller and more intimate spaces. This area borrows the materiality of both hotel and Convention Center for the sake of continuity, but applies it in more playful and diverse ways, with new forms and denser rhythms. With building connections at different levels, the shop’s smaller volumes allow for the creation of more sheltered multileveled open spaces, which favor mobility and expand prime retail façade areas.
The three proposal areas work as a unity, with this similar aesthetic derived from the theme of arches, and materiality of light grey stone, reddish metal, and glaze. But they work as well as individual architectural pieces with unique characters that provide different spatial experiences and imagery, consistent with their intended uses and context. In this way, the complex creates interest through novelty, without losing formal unity.
The architectural direction taken on option 2 puts a relevant accent on the relationship between antique 19th century building style and modern contemporary building style. It reminds to the history of the city, suggested by the presence of antique buildings made on the 19th century and modern facade languages developed on 20th century. Following this inspiration, the hotel body is clearly divided in two main parts, emphasizing through the division of the two parts the horizontal direction of the building. The podium part reminds the antique classical style and the top part recollects the modern. The podium part, which features the classical language of the building, is made on three levels characterized on the ground floor by big glazed openings interspersed by vertical pelmets while the second and third floors are characterized by the successions of windows spaced by double columns and vertical pelmets on the façade. Its material, a white marble, follows the traditional whitish appearance of classical facades. The modern part is clearly detached from the classical part by a setback, giving space to a generous terrace at that level.
The ballroom and the commercial building carry a modern language on their facades. While on the right the ballroom building, a 16 meters high volume, follows the modern language of the hotel building featuring a simpler façade style, the four-level mall building, distinguish itself with the articulation of various volumes that create two internal courtyards. The facades are characterized by white plastered boxes spaced with fully glazed setback parts and dark grey string courses on horizontal direction. The podium is made with grey stone and large glazed openings to clearly detach the levels above, giving a sense of suspension to the entire commercial building.
The architectural style applied for this option of the hotel and commercial center find its roots on modern tradition, inspired by the history of the city in the 20th century. The façade styles are characterized by a sober approach using a clear and distinct configuration for each part of the building complex. Key element of the project is the round arch while the main material is the yellow Atlantis marble, to give a slight warm touch to the façade. As the modern architectural tradition referred also to classical tradition, the hotel façade is interpreting a classic layout scheme, marked by a triple volume division on its main body. Through windows disposition setback the intention is to emphasize the vertical direction so to slender the façade itself. In order to both ease the building mass, the last floors have a fresh contemporary appearance, stepped back and made by glass and anodized aluminum, emphasizing the horizontal direction. Another remarkable touch of contemporary design is made by the public staircase that connects the hotel entrance to the road below.
Beside the hotel body, the ballroom building is characterized by a 16 meters tall volume where the façade encompasses a sequence of arches of two different dimension. Characterized by a minimal modern approach the design is enhanced by a special connection of the arches on the corners, so to give the façade a contemporary fresh touch. In a similar way the façade of the commercial building on the left side of the hotel is composed, using the arch elements all around on two levels.
On its last level this commercial part is crowned by glazed volumes that can host mainly restaurants and bars, so to appreciate the view of the dense green areas nearby the hotel premises.