Rosewood Beijing’s Bold Design Celebrates Tradition and Timeless Style

January 6, 2017

The design of Rosewood Beijing blends cultural touchstones, architectural traditions and contemporary style to reflect the history, art and vibrancy of Beijing. From the structural form and landscaping, to the choice of materials and curated artwork, Rosewood Beijing’s design elements combine to create a landscape of surprising discoveries, sensory engagement and authentic experiences. 

“Throughout the hotel there is a very subtle insertion of the traditional into modern yet timeless style,” says Rosewood Beijing Area Managing Director Marc Handl.  “In keeping with Rosewood Beijing’s standing as the first China property for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts®, the hotel’s design honours the history and rich culture of the city from a fresh and contemporary perspective.”

A Mountain View

Inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, Melbourne-based design firm BARstudio collaborated with acclaimed resort landscape architects PLandscape (PLA) in Bangkok to create an environment that intimately connects guests to the location.

The 22-storey hotel recalls a mountain profile with contrasting volumes and shapes. Inside the lobby, subtle pavilion-like silhouettes appears throughout the soaring five-storey space, as well as in upper-floor gardens and Sense spa. Mongolian-sourced bluestone was chosen for the exterior to resemble a mountain wall and provide a raw-versus-refined contrast to the sleek, sophisticated interiors. 

Rosewood Beijing features more landscaped outdoor space than any other hotel in the city.  As the lead designers of Rosewood Beijing BARstudio have taken full advantage of this unique feature to exemplify Rosewood’s signature A Sense of Place® philosophy. 

Throughout Chinese history, gardens served as exclusive retreats from the chaos of the city.  Paying tribute to this tradition, a three-metre stone wall and stepped landscape surrounds the property, serving as a buffer to Beijing’s frenetic streetscape.  Upon arrival, guests pass through two imposing “Sons of the Dragon” stone sculptures that frame the hotel entrance echoing traditional Chinese architectural principles of balance and symmetry, and enter an inner courtyard and lush garden of seasonal foliage. 

While the landscaping throughout the hotel will convey a haven, visitors still feel connected to Beijing. The designers created vantage points to frame the cityscape, including the iconic CCTV Tower opposite the hotel.   

Chinese Cultural Inspirations

BARstudio envisioned Rosewood Beijing as a community created out of varied yet harmonious spaces, in keeping with traditional Chinese lifestyle concepts.  Each area expresses a distinct personality, separated by individual courtyards. Similar to a journey through a village or Chinese mountainscape, guests experience a continuous journey of exploration and engagement.

A neutral palette of brown, grey, white and black convey an elegant, unforced simplicity and provide the backdrop for the hotel’s artwork and colourful accent pieces. The emphasis on black and white also recalls the minimalist style and fluid artistry of Chinese calligraphy.  Selected contemporary furnishings reveal discreet Chinese touches and traditional decorative elements. 

Materials used also convey a sense of provenance, personality and history. The entry canopy and reception area, for example, feature recycled bronze tiles moulded by local Chinese craftsmen. A traditional, interlocking pattern of timber logs as stacked by local tradesmen has been incorporated into the design of the foyer as well as the private dining rooms in the Hot Pot restaurant. 

Residential Comforts

Rosewood Beijing offers apartment-style accommodation with interior detailing reflecting this commitment. Individual mementoes and accessories appear in guestrooms.  The residential mood will extend to the lift lobbies and public spaces. Library shelves are filled with objets d’art, accessories and a selection of specially sourced books, leaving guests with the impression that they are browsing the residence of a private collector.

Art and Soul of Beijing

While most hotel art is characterised by a nondescript blandness, the goal of the art in Rosewood Beijing is to reflect a vision, depth of understanding and respect for both traditional and contemporary artforms. Curated by Emily de Wolfe Pettit, founder of Beijing-based Peking Art Associates consultancy, the artworks are eclectic, surprising and occasionally challenging, as well as an extension of the hotel’s personality to further instil A Sense of Place®.

The collection showcases a range of Beijing-based artists, each one skilled at combining traditional materials and techniques with a contemporary aesthetic. The artwork includes ink-brush paintings and photographs alongside mixed-media pieces and sculptures crafted from bronze, wood or steel.  The arrival atrium, for example, features a soaring artwork that combines traditional calligraphy and historic landscape painting. 

Artists represented also include Li Yongfei, who combines painstaking technique with wildly imaginative flair; Inner Mongolian-born Jiang Shan Chun whose work spans an impressive range of styles; and sculptor and installation artist Song Jianshu, who has contributed to such prestigious projects as the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Bilbao. 

Rather than serve purely a decorative purpose, each piece of art was chosen in conjunction with BARstudio to subtly convey the essence of the location and mark the guest’s journey through the hotel. 

“To capture the vibrancy of the hotel, we are using framing devices to focus guests’ attention on key images and features,” says Stewart Robertson, Director of BARstudio.  “Whether the subject is the artwork, the cityscape or the culinary artists working in the show kitchens, the life-as-art framing techniques embody the hotel’s dynamic concept.”

About Rosewood Beijing

The 282-room ultra-luxury Rosewood Beijing, located in the Chaoyang District opposite the iconic CCTV Tower, is the first China property for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® and is styled in tribute to Beijing’s heritage where ancient meets modern. The hotel features six restaurants and lounges including Bistrot B and Bistrot B Lounge • Bar, RED BOWL stylish hot pot restaurant, MEI bar, Country Kitchen and The House of Dynasties Chinese restaurant. Meeting and function space, totalling 2,620 square metres, includes a pillar-less ballroom and the Pavilion residential-style event venue. The first Rosewood Sense spa in Asia features an indoor swimming pool, gym and yoga studio. Also debuting is the Manor Club, Rosewood’s sophisticated and exclusive access executive lounge.

For more information:  rosewoodhotels.com/beijing

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