Opened in late 2017, Le Meridien Shenyang is an ode to both the mid-century modern roots of Le Meridien brand and to the city of Shenyang itself; both in terms of its historical significance as the one-time capital of China’s last dynasty, the Qing, and also its location in the North-East of China with its four distinct seasons.
Searching to create a timeless design in which art and graphics would play a principal role, Kokaistudios began the design process with the creation of a sophisticated materials palette inspired by the traditional colors and textures of the region’s forests and by undertaking a detailed topographical study of the current and historical maps of the city together with Beijing-based artists Instant Hutong. The outcome of these initial considerations is a project in which texture, materiality, graphics and art combine to create an immersive and elegant design experience where guests throughout their stay can discover additional layers of the history and culture of the city and the Le Meridien brand by way of subtle design instruments.
From the first steps into the hotel, guests are welcomed by a small reception lobby decorated with a 3-D corona engraved bi-color map of the historical and modern city, designed to give the guests a deeper geographical understanding of the space. Off the main lobby sits the Latitude 42 area; with its distinctly modern European design language this lounge area was designed as an elegant gathering point for both hotel guests and the surrounding community.
The walls of the swimming pool have been finished with a vibrant green jade marble that acts as an art-piece and counter point to the muted grey stone flooring reminiscent in both texture and patterns of the nearby imperial palace; one of the best preserved in China. This use of materials as decorations continues in the guest-rooms where Kokaistudios have made extensive use of Oak wood which dominates the forests surrounding the city; its gentle tactile nature and simple elegance combine with a scented oil treatment give the rooms a feeling of serenity and coziness.
The design of this project is a new step in Kokaistudios method of combining a strong architectural approach to the design of interiors with an original use of materials and light to create unexpected subtle emphatic feeling between the space and the people.