The InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun is synonymous with the movement of design-driven hotels in China’s capital city. Commissioned to design the interiors is Hong Kong based Joe Cheng from Cheng Chung Design (CCD). Over the years, the design firm has established itself as one the frontrunners in hotel design with an extensive portfolio around China and different parts of the world, working with big names, including Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Sofitel and Hilton.
The design concept of the hotel is inspired by the hexagonal diamond element on the building’s façade. Through the analysis of a diamond’s formation, which is made from constantly refining and polishing the rugged stone, the design adopts the cutting and luster of the diamond to shape the space. This concept is applied throughout the architectural plan layout and in almost every elevation detail.
Each detail carries a story. A stylish and avant-garde spatial scene is created through the configuration of furniture pieces and artworks with effective lighting to build up the atmosphere.
CCD intends to create a ‘New Yuppies’ style for the hotel. It is new for a typical Yuppism that symbolises the pursuit for positive, confident, calm, gentle and fashionable life, with main colours of black, white and grey. Yuppism is a late-20th century cultural phenomenon of self-absorb young professionals with good earning and prefer to enjoy the cultural attractions of the sophisticated urban lifestyle and mindset. Defined as “young urban professional”, Yuppies can be closely defined as the bourgeois of the modern technology-dependent world.
Injecting the ‘New Yuppies’ ethos into the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, the palette is no longer black, white and grey. Gemstone blue is used as the main colour to create an avant-garde atmosphere representing the future and technology.
The interior design is in line with the architectural component of the building, making full use of the spaces in the well-planned hotel. The designer makes full use of the advantages and disadvantages of the main structures. The structural column in the way is combined with custom-made arc sofa, forming virtual spaces together with the partition and recessed ceiling. As the configurations are put together, different functional spaces are independent of each other while maintaining a magnificent sense of grandeur within the space circulation.
The spaces connect and transit alternatingly to create a visual experience of virtual and reality. The architectural space in the lobby is long and narrow with short spatial depth. This existing feature inspires CCD to develop a beautiful solution to give the lobby space a new twist.
Moving around the hotel is a spectacular sight with many to explore and see. Different design elements stand out from floor to floor, making it hard to even pick a favourite spot.
Restaurants, all five of them on the third floor, feature a unique and significant grandeur that appeals in magnificent fashion. The Top Tapas Restaurant and Top Bar are decorated in red tones with copper pipe partitions to illustrate a Spanish style. Ying Japanese Restaurant and Ying Chinese Restaurant use bright tangerine colour as its main palette while Char Dining Room & Lounge expresses an open industrial style.
The Lounge faces Sanlitun Bar Street, providing a flashy neon-lit night scene to the space. It exudes an ardent yet private atmosphere.
“There are a lot of innovations in terms of putting the designs together. The most unique one is the circular layout of the room, which makes the original rigid 45sqm guestroom artistic, avant-garde, more open and convenient,” adds Joe.
It is evident that InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun’s design DNA celebrates a new vitality to the group, which is dedicated to creating luxury hotel brands for over 70 years. Joe concludes, “We ultimately want to highlight the determination and achievement of InterContinental Hotels Group on the strategic deployment to develop landmark hotels in first-tier cities.”
A print version of this article was originally published in d+a issue 98.