When it comes to aesthetics and simple living, the past can be a rich source of inspiration. LWK + PARTNERS recently completed Hebei Grand Hotel, Anyue in a new Central Business District of Shijiazhuang; part of the fast-growing Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan region. Drawing inspiration from the ancient city of Zhengding that dates back 1900 years, the hotel synthesises elements from classic Chinese architecture with the needs of modern society to create a new urban getaway, immersing guests in an exquisite natural setting. It is part of the Zhengding Li Mixed-use Development, a retail-led precinct also designed by LWK + PARTNERS.
With a masterplan inspired by the ancient city, the hotel is north-south oriented with two medium-rise towers and 60 villas orthogonally arranged along the central axis. The hotel towers, taking up the northern part of the masterplan, offer a total of 200 guest rooms and are designed with single-loaded corridors to maximise river views for the suites. Traditional architectural elements are reinterpreted and incorporated throughout from façades and extending towards the guestroom interiors.
The resort-style villas are a modern interpretation of Chinese courtyards, arranged in a cluster along the peripheral landscape paving, where double-storey slender blocks open out towards the central garden. By treatments of shifting and staggering the villas, secluded pocket spaces are created for guests to relax in privacy. Villas are connected by a smooth flow of courtyard gardens and covered walkways to provide a seamless landscaped exterior and form an unobstructed spatial experience where guests can swiftly move between a private retreat and open spaces for a shared community. The design also makes well-considered connections with the past by extracting architectural elements like pitched roofs and iconic pillars, unifying the overall architectural form and establishing a relationship with the local neighbourhood.
Nature is part of the experience at Hebei Grand Hotel, Anyue, in addition to extensive facilities including a grand ballroom, boutique tea house, business meeting rooms and specialty restaurants open to guests and members of the public. The whole development is brimmed with verdant landscaping, with green roofs placed on some of the villas to reduce interior heat gain and energy consumption, as well as various water features to minimise heat island effect. PV panels are installed at the south-facing pitched roofs to further maximise energy efficiency, while overhang roofs keep the buildings cool in the summer.
In addition to architecture and landscape design, LWK + PARTNERS is also responsible for the lighting design. Lighting of the hotel traces the silhouette of pitched roofs, recapturing the beauty of morning haze over the mountains and giving a serene yet intriguing ambience throughout the hotel.
Hebei Grand Hotel, Anyue celebrates a mix of heritage, nature and style. It looks back to the vestige of ancient civilisation for a new way to express comfort through design and architecture, signifying also a return to the simple pleasures of staying close to nature.