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Contemporary hotel on private island, Sunrise Hotel Kempinski has dramatic interiors

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Sunrise Hotel Kempinski by Shanghai Huadu Architect Design Co has a sculptural facade and upmarket interiors by DiLeonardo

Contemporary hotel on private island, Sunrise Hotel Kempinski has dramatic interiors Discover this article's resources

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Luxury hotel developers have long made the most of the planet's most beguiling locations. However, with competition for well-heeled guests and lucrative business conferences ever greater, some are taking the creation of unique, pristine environments to the next level.

Featuring 12 boutique hotel destinations, Yanqi Island sits alongside Yanqi Lake – a beautiful, scenic site at the foot of Yanshan Mountains in Northern China. The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel is perhaps the most dramatic, rising 21 floors above the verdant landscape. The design evokes the shape of the sun – appearing from the distance to rise from the waters of Yanqi Lake – symbolisingharmony, unity and infinity. From the side view, the building evokes a scallop, representing ‘fortune' in the Chinese culture, while the main entrance, shaped like the mouth of a carp, symbolises prosperity.

The hotel's structure comprises concrete-filled tubular columns together with steel beams, and a concrete core. The whole building is supported vertically and horizontally by the core and steel beams. The resulting structure can withstand up to a level eight earthquake, and creates the ‘sunrise' design.

The interiors are no less thoughtfully rendered. Interior designer Giana DiLeonardo says the client expressed the importance of designing spaces to reflect the hotel's natural surroundings and the concept of being at one with nature.

"While geared for relaxing, it was also intended to accommodate large meetings that could be held throughout the year – such as the international APEC forum.

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"With this in mind, the hotel's public spaces are grand in scale and are balanced with intimate seating areas for quiet conversation. Since this is a resort destination, amenities such as the pool and fitness and food and beverage outlets are dramatic spaces that have many moments of discovery.

"As a homage to the landscape and architecture, the interior is largely inspired by the idea of framing the view – whether it is capturing the vistas of the mountainous landscape or contextualising internal areas," says DiLeonardo.

"We created vignettes of intrigue within the interior by experimenting with the juxtaposition of solids and voids, light and darkness, and natural versus man-made elements," says DiLeonardo.

Maintaining a balance of geometries within the architectural shell was a significant challenge. To resolve this, the design team took every opportunity to infuse geometric forms into unexpected spaces, design elements or features.

"This was accomplished in part by establishing a harmony between structural and organic spaces."

The centrepiece of the hotel lobby is the art feature set around the main staircase – made up of thousands of glass vessels hanging ceiling to floor on stainless steel cables. The design of this grand, sculptural piece evokes the outline of the mountainous landscape beyond Yanqi Lake.

"Intentionally set apart, the panels are layered behind each other within the lobby space, each with a unique design intended to create depth as the viewer looks from different angles."

The overall effect for the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel – from lobby to atrium to the myriad restaurants, gymnasium and pool is luxurious and enchanting.

The luxury hotel offers 306 guest rooms and suites – all with views of Yanqi Lake. There are nine restaurants and bars, meeting venues, spa and recreation facilities, a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, karaoke rooms and a kids club. There is also an attached conference centre.

At the top of the hotel, on the 19th floor, the Sky Lounge, like most of the design, hints at a Chinese motif through accent furnishing embedded within a selection of contemporary, eclectic pieces. The focal point is the three custom-designed, cloud-like crystal chandeliers. Translucent wall panels can be pulled out to divide the space.

In addition to its lavish presence, the hotel has a green agenda. The soaring glass facade reduces energy consumption, there is a sophisticated indoor air quality monitoring system, and natural gas is the main fuel to supply heating and cooling.

The emphasis on Chinese culture, sumptuous design, and a spectrum of guest and business facilities make China's Sunrise Kempinski Hotel a landmark in terms of service as well as artistic form.

Credit List

ProjectSunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
DeveloperBeijing Enterprises Group Real-estate Co Ltd
ArchitectShanghai Huadu Architect Design Co
Interior designerDiLeonardo @@@ Story by Charles Moxham *** First exterior image by LV Hengzhong; all other photography by Owen Raggett

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