LTW Designworks Manifests the Beauty of the Silk Road’s for the Design of Grand Hyatt Xi’an.
The 396-room Grand Hyatt Hotel is part of Maike Center, a greenfield mix-use development comprising 5-star hotel and office towers connected via a 2-storey F&B bridge, sitting atop a shared retail podium. Drawing from the rich history of Xi’an as one of the “Four Great Ancient Capitals of China” and located at the eastern end of the Silk Road, the design concept for the hotel is inspired by the famous route’s rich, multi-cultural history, native colours of the textiles and spices traded across regions, and iconography of the desert, earth and adventurous spirit of those who traversed the route in search of new successes.
LTW referenced the Chinese idiom “a great hawk spreads its wings” as a starting point. “Symbolizing hope, success and new beginnings, it became an iconic motif throughout the property,” says HL. This is manifested in the hotels’ dramatic double-height reception lobby which is enveloped by a feather-like sculptural white feature wall composed of curvilinear rows of interconnected vertical slates rising up 10 meters high, in undulating patterns forming wing-like motifs.
The bevelled reception counters are composed of lightly veined grey marble and sit at the base of the feature wall. Incorporated within its design are angular, geometric light fixtures that form part of the counter’s overall shape and glow from within, as if precious jewels found within raw earth. The lobby’s shuttle lifts are wrapped in matte gold metal screens with laser-etched imagery of overlapping Chinese palace rooftops that form a mirage effect that is also carried through to the other public spaces and guestrooms.
The entire MICE facility occupies the 3rd and 4th floors of the hotel, anchored firstly by the oval-shaped Grand Ballroom with a double-height interior, occupying 985 sqm. The shape alone sets this design apart from the predictable rectangular ballrooms seen in the majority of hotels in the market, augmented by a full-height window looking out at the city beyond while freely allowing natural daylight to filter into the event space. A shared Pre-Function space links the Grand Ballroom with the Junior Ballroom, allowing the entire pre-function hall to be shared as a communal break-out if both ballrooms are utilized for the same event, or opened up as additional event space. Strategically located along the upper half of the ballroom’s interior façade, curved LED screens depict customized digital art or guest’s event videos to act as “living billboards” for patrons both inside the hotel and visible from the plaza below.
A curved grand staircase composed of vertical wood slats and marble risers wraps around the outside of the circular Grand Ballroom to link guests from the Pre-Function Hall to the Hyatt Residence with open plan show kitchen upstairs where communal gathering is encouraged. The meeting rooms it serves are fully fitted with the latest conferencing technology and can be expanded into larger rooms from the sliding acoustic wall panels.
“We want to create an oasis for the spa at Level 5 amidst the desert and sand dunes for guests to replenish and unwind”, says HL. Using that as an inspiration, green was predominately used with muted shade of sun bleached wood interpreted as tree bark. Both colours bring a natural and calm atmosphere to the room while the orange and yellow accented furnitures help add a feeling of freshness to the space. To further enhance a sense of relaxation, the design of the swimming pool mirrors the ocean waves with concave-convex stripe patterns on both walls and floors composed by the rhythm of the waves.
The lounge combines vintage and rustic furnishes in a modern setting with comfort and intimacy of a ‘living room’. Red and white ceramic tiled screens are used as dividers to split the lobby lounge space in order to create intimate spaces for guests to enjoy. The All-Day Dining restaurant depicts a typical bustling and thriving marketplace where individual counters for food and drinks are provided for guests to explore.
The iconic sky bridge houses the hotel’s multiple F&B outlets, including the Western all-day dining and the contemporary Chinese restaurant, sitting at opposite ends of the bridge not unlike the Silk Road itself. The all-day Grand Café mimics a bustling and thriving marketplace with open, interactive marble counters set amidst wooden tables and chairs, plush leather banquettes and custom artwork. The signature Chinese specialty restaurant, Chang’an Bridge, is a modern interpretation of Shaanxi culture with a palette consisting of geometric metal screens with ruby accents, grid patterned carpets in hues of grey, white and muted orange, and circular ceiling details resembling traditional Chinese roof construction. Beyond these are the private dining rooms, where a stunning art piece symbolizing the rich wildlife along the Silk Road is installed along the corridor.
The hotel’s guestrooms and suites are designed with a bright and modern ambience. LTW utilized varying shades of ochre, off-white and tan to highlight the upholstered furniture, walls and millwork, creating a welcoming palette within the contemporary room. Inspired by the phenomenon of mirages, headboard panels depict traditional Chinese pavilions only partially, being slightly obscured by offset and overlapping motifs like a dream.
In the sleeping area of the guestroom, beds for both King and Twin layouts are oriented toward the window and the view. The Twin configuration has split full-size beds tucked against opposite corners, allowing the guest passage in between to be shared. The headboard artwork is a custom-printed panel with superimposed silhouettes of Qing Dynasty palaces, creating a dreamy mirage for guests sleeping just below. All guestrooms have walk-in closets located between the bathroom and bedroom zones, maximizing efficiency of dressing and packing/unpacking for on-the-go guests.
With cleverly adapted references to the rich heritage of the area complementing modern design details, the unique spaces in Grand Hyatt Xi’an portray the history of the Silk Road through sleek custom-made furnishings, electric motifs and thoughtful, modern details that define its sense of place. Through this project, LTW once again crafts a compelling narrative boasting the unique cultural identity of the region.
Photo Credits: Seth Powers
Project: Grand Hyatt
Location: Xi’an, China
Design Studio: LTW Designworks