Situated on Chang’an Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, the long awaited W Beijing Chang’an exudes a distinctive metropolitan vibe and an undeniable visibility in this central location. Taking on a project of such high profile was a great challenge for the designer, but allowed us to work closely with Starwood and the owner to create an iconic W hotel that is suited for Beijing. After almost five years of dedication, we are very much looking forward to the grand opening in early 2015.
Drawing inspiration from Beijing’s history as the foundation of imperial power, the overarching concept of ICON EMPIRE was interpreted through the Chinese philosophical tenet “Tian Yuan Di Fang” which defines heaven as round and the earth as square. Together with the design approach of implementing monolithic motifs and the graphics of the oriental Ming vase, a W Hotel that could be only found in the empirical city of Beijing was born.
Inspired by the traditional Xiguan Mansions of Guangzhou in China, Dynasty Restaurant, meaning “Full of Happiness”, preserves the quintessential elements of the architecture and style of this heritage. The iconic restaurant reopened in December after six months of renovation. The grey bricks, exquisite window shapes and ceilings are balanced thoughtfully with Chinese ceramic frames and artistic motifs to contribute to the large open space of the restaurant.
The highlight of the renovation is the feature artwork made from bamboo pieces in the main dining room, an ode to the traditional Chinese landscape and prominently displayed as the focal point of the dining hall. With its silhouette of a graceful Lingnan painting, the artwork is comprised of 13,600 pieces of bamboo. The custom designed artwork by AB Concept is the largest bamboo painting displayed in Hong Kong.
The porte-cochère resembles a Chinese pavilion with its imposing grandeur, central axis, ochre-red lacquer exterior and traditional lattice patterns. Dominating the entrance are three overhead lights, evoking images of traditional wisdom lanterns. In the hotel’s majestic lobby and reception area, AB Concept has taken full advantage of the 8.5m ceiling, using repeated patterns to capture a mood of harmonious elegance.
Drawing on Chinese architectural customs, the design team adapted the traditional Lo Shu Square pattern throughout the hotel, repeating the graphic in ceiling reliefs and in the marble floors.
Beyond the foyer, two full-grown trees frame the courtyard, which serves as an entrance to the Lobby Lounge. Optimizing the natural light and surrounding greenery, floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer guests all-encompassing views of the Qufu landscape.
AB Concept has tempered Shanghai-style flamboyance with a sense of refinement. Reinterpreting neoclassical style, Shàng-Xí’s soaring ceilings, bronze finishes and marble interiors suggest European opulence. To counter the sumptuousness with subtlety, sino-centric motifs, shapes and colours hint at oriental glamour while the deco-inspired furnishings reveal AB Concept’s appreciation for timeless elegance.
Reinforcing AB Concept’s ability to capture a sense of place and offer a fresh perspective, the design draws on Shanghai’s rich history by combining the architectural forms of Shanghai’s neoclassical buildings within the French concession with traditional Chinese motifs.
Discreet and exclusive, Shàng-Xí comprises five private dining rooms and an intimate public space for 22 guests. Inspired by traditional Chinese cultural icons, AB Concept has designed each room to evoke the colours and qualities of a rare semi-precious stone.
The reception features beige parchment panels complemented with bold bronze accents and jade inserts, leading to two full-length mirrored doors. Beyond the entrance, guests step into an expansive corridor finished in mosaic titles, its walls lined with hand-painted silks. AB Concept shaped the recessed ceiling with Chinese bat motifs and a Celestial cloud, a traditional Chinese symbols that represent prosperity, happiness and longevity and recur throughout the restaurant.
Artfully designed with privacy and luxury as the guiding concepts, Shàng-Xi’s six dining rooms are destined to be Shanghai’s premier venues for high-powered lunches, exclusive gatherings and intimate celebrations.
The individual dining rooms – named Tiger Eye, Pearl, Amber, Agate, Jade and Purple Jade – radiate from this central corridor. Inspired by the auspicious character and luxury of the semi-precious stones, each salon is distinguished by its own palette and design narrative. Within each private space, the doors, furniture and walls are inlaid with the room’s namesake stone.
Tiger Eye, the public dining area, is the largest of the individual salons. Accommodating up to 22 guests, AB Concept designed this room to take full advantage of the full-length windows and breathtaking views of Shanghai. Embodying the spirit of classic French design, the room’s double-height doors, cloud-shaped chandelier, marble pillars and textured carpets capture a sense of elegance.
The Pearl private dining room employs a masculine scheme of dark timbers, heavy velvet fabrics and confident splashes of purple. Anchored by the 10-seater dining table, a recamier sofa runs parallel to the full-length window while Deco-inspired lighting fixtures frame the room.
The Amber and Agate dining rooms can each welcome up to 10 guests. Since Shàng-Xi will be the venue of choice for discerning diners, political leaders and business executives, the restaurant’s interiors needed to reflect a dignified grace. Yet AB Concept has skillfully struck a delicate balance, imbuing the space with an elegant yet warm atmosphere. While the Amber and Agate dining rooms express stately elegance, their sun-kissed shades of gold offset by timber accents project a vitality and natural energy.
Embracing the traditional qualities of their namesake stones, the Jade and Purple Jade dining rooms convey serenity, prosperity, grace and glamour. While both salons seat twelve, Jade benefits from its corner position, allowing space for a private lounge area and highlighting the views of the surrounding greenery. Bronze finishes add warmth to the jade palette while the ceiling, inlaid with mother-of-pearl panels, introduces a new texture.
As purple is the rarest colour of jade, this spacious room is suitably opulent with its rich fabrics, eclectic artifacts and a striking custom-made light fixture that evokes Deco style.
To enhance Shàng-Xi’s home-like setting, AB Concept has also created intimate transitional spaces – verandahs and alcoves – between the private dining rooms.
Inspired by Singapore’s heritage, the modern design pays homage to traditional Chinese design, creating a space of quiet beauty. Befitting the tranquil setting, designers used a recurring cloud motif to create a dream-like scene. For added depth and texture, AB Concept has emboldened the natural palette with punches of purple and subtle gold accents, tempting guests to indulge and submit themselves to the sensory journey.
Creating a space of quiet beauty, AB Concept has designed the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. A cloud silhouette, its multiple layers lit from below, welcomes guests at the reception.
Lacquered panels and concealed lighting, crafted to resemble louvered shutters, line the walls, reinterpreting 19th-century architecture and suffusing the interiors in a dreamy glow. Natural wood finishes, red velvet flourishes and mosaic tiles stand out against glass screens and mother-of-pearl accents, creating a delicate landscape of contrasting textures.
Intimate and inviting, the spa comprises six treatment rooms, including two couples’ suites. A separate manicure-pedicure section, a tea lounge and one-to-one consultation pods enhance the spa’s personal ambience.
Inspired by soft, morning dews, these units’ refreshing contemporary pale lavender and light-textured stone landscape is dynamically accented with polished steel and glossy lacquer. The open kitchen designs here deliver spectacular panoramic Victoria Harbour views and ensure homes always remain full of vitality.
Simple and ingenious, a sliding wall makes the space between living area and bedroom even more fashionable. Equipped with a rotating flat-screen TV, the wall can be used as a partition or to maximise versatility when slid fully back. Suites are further distinguished by a Finn Juhl Pelican Chair whose striking contemporary lines catch the eye and set the tone.
AB Concept has revealed its dual expertise in decorative and architectural design in ARGENTA, a premium residential development in Hong Kong’s prestigious Mid-Levels. Developed by Swire Properties and located at 63 Seymour Road, every design aspect of this 40-storey building, from the façade to the open-plan layout of the 30 exclusive units, ensures a wholly unified, harmonious development.
Constrained by the available land space, AB Concept maximised the area by designing the structure with undulating surfaces. To add dimension and texture to the façade, as well as to avoid refracted glare from the curved exterior, each storey is marked by protruding curved ribbons that hug the contours and envelop the building.
A tiered fountain greets guests as they enter the fifth-floor lobby from Seymour Road. Inside, the curved interiors convey a sense of space while the curated artwork and clutter-free design create a gallery-style ambience. Dominating the lobby, American artist Ryan Gregory created a three-dimensional metallic sculpture that echoes the sleek, fluid silver exterior. The ceiling is fitted with an underwater skylight, allowing light and rippling water reflections from the overhead pool to flood the space.
Befitting the prestigious address, ARGENTA embodies the luxury lifestyle with a host of exclusive facilities and innovative amenities. The fifth-floor Lounge is a residents-only oasis distinguished by a warm, neutral palette, floor-to-ceiling windows and sculptural furniture. A semi-outdoor 16m lap pool on the sixth floor is sheltered by multi-faceted glass-louver panels and framed by black stone tiles. The thoughtful design creates an intimate oasis, effectively evoking a sense of privacy without obstructing the views of the surrounding cityscape.
This high end French restaurant is a welcoming blend of nostalgia and modernity, where high quality home dining allows guests to eat in style, but still let down their guard. The refined olive palette creates a sense of tranquility and the scheme is decorative in a subtle, architectural way. Stealing the show and layering the space is the restaurant’s oversized motif, where hand-beaten wrought iron and textured glass meet in a series of modern screens inspired by antique French windows.
With Victoria Harbour laid out through double-height floor to ceiling windows, the main lounge has been designed to blend rather than compete. Rich carpeting, textured stone tiling and ornate wrought iron detailing contrast with pared down Gallic-inspired furniture.
Inspired by the retro glamour of Hollywood in its heyday, AB Concept matched the interiors of this 750sq m showhouse with the prestige of its South Bay address. A dark, glossy palette and select luxury accents define its lower floor, among them panels in sting ray leather, woven leather curtain and glass inlaid with horsetail hair. The studio chose to eschew paintings or sculpture in favour of iconic furniture pieces, each of which projects a unique personality.
The stage here is set for entertaining and the roof deck is dressed accordingly with an open kitchen, lounge area and Jacuzzi. However the mood on the second floor has been softened to an amber-coated intimacy. Delicate floral touches in the master bedroom meet the latest in entertainment technology, complete with plasma screen and a colour changing mood programme, with a touch of academia in the rich leather and lacquered panelling.