Neri & Hu have created a contemporary boutique hotel within a 1930s Japanese Army building in Shanghai, with 19 rooms, a restaurant, lobby bar, function room and rooftop bar. They have retained and highlighted elements of the existing structure, creating a strong contrast between old and new, perhaps symbolically representing the interaction between old and new within Shanghai itself. The old concrete lower walls are contrasted with the rusted Corten steel cladding of the new upper levels. The hotel reception inside continues this contrast between the rough old building and crisply detailed new interior elements. The 19 rooms however are all clean and new, each offering a different experience for visitors while exploring a challenging juxtaposition of public and private.
To explain this the Neri & Hu website states that:
‘Neri&Hu was also responsible for the design of the hotel’s interior, which is expressed through both a blurring and inversion of the interior and exterior, as well as between the public and private realms, creating a disorienting yet refreshing spatial experience for the hotel guest who longs for a unique five-star hospitality experience. The public spaces allow one to peek into private rooms while the private spaces invite one to look out at the public arenas, such as the large vertical room window above the reception desk and the corridor windows overlooking the dining room. These visual connections of unexpected spaces not only bring an element of surprise, but also force the hotel guests to confront the local Shanghai urban condition where visual corridors and adjacencies in tight nong-tang’s define the unique spatial flavor of the city.’
Architect: Neri & Hu
Photographer: Pedro Pegenaute
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