This hotel frontage by designers Shma includes woven elements that evoke the area's textile industry and includes a disappearing act for practical utilities within what is now a landmark space

Designed by Shma 

From the landscape architects:

This small-scale renovation project by landscape architects Shma comprises 6000m² in front of an existing five-star Le Meridien Hotel, designed by architects Neri & Hu. 

The owner’s brief called for a hotel frontage landscape to improve the overall appearance, as well as simultaneously resolving ground parking spaces and vehicular movement.

With the hotel sited in the densely populated area of an urban intersection of Zhengzhou City, Shma set out to achieve a landscape that is interactive, imaginative, and artistically crafted in order to create a new landmark for the neighbourhood.

Paying tribute to Zhengzhou's historical textile weaving industry, Shma created sculptural-like landscape weaves and folds to reveal an aesthetically pleasing public space. 

A series of undulating lawn stripes represent the silk being woven – up and down – into fabric sheets by traditional machines. 

An interval space is defined by matching the existing lobby pillars and architectural orders to stitch the landscape and building together in the master plan, seamlessly integrated with the car parking layout. 

A water feature with a sculpture is proposed in front of the lobby drop-off area as a main welcoming element.

The use of two different colours for the  stainless steel finishing for the planters is to play with the unique public/private characters of the urban hotel. 

When viewed from the public roadside, a brilliant bronze colour is used to project outgoing and fun energy, signifying the importance of this urban corner, while the black mirror material was selected to achieve a calmer and more relaxing emotion when perceived from the hotel side looking out.

Given that there are massive structures of a new underground metro station beneath half of the landscaped spaces, the firm took great care in the coordination of paving patterns, manholes, and planting soil depth to achieve a non intrusive design result. 

This includes the camouflaging of four ventilation shafts and an emergency staircase structure that pops up on the landscape – Shma provided mirror finishes that make them disappear visually.

Once the landscape was completed, the whole hotel district was lightened by the wavy lawn stripe, the unified reflective water feature, and the interplay of reflections from the mirrored planter finishes. 

It’s a privately owned public space that is quickly becoming a new gathering spot – catering to a variety of activities, from a meeting spot for friends and a place for Instagram selfies to a backdrop for wedding photoshoots. 

The landscape is perceived as a new landmark of the intersection and has drawn tremendous interest from both residents and visitors.

In this design, the firm's approach was to create a sculptural-like landscape for Le Meridien, while collaborating with the owner to solve numerous site problems during the construction process. 

The result is that Le Meridien has become one of Zhengzhou's landmarks.

Explore the design.

Credit list

Le Meridien frontage
Landscape architect
Qiwen Huang, Thanapol Masuchand
Construction management
C&S Engineering
Landscape architects
Design director
Prapan Napawongdee
Tanee Sawasdee

Designed by: Shma

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Arch-Exist

17 Sep, 2023

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