“Celebrating Chengdu’s Mystic Landscape features”
Design Problem and Issue Statement
The site is located in Wenjiang, Chengdu along a river bank and has an area of 5.4 hectares and includes 2 hotel towers and outdoor spa. The dominant size of the hotel within the close proximity of the public road required a grand entrance statement in order to impress and welcome guests. Therefore, the designer’s objective was to provide a landscape design that provides a statement to the development and shall literally mirror the architecture and beauty of the hotel. While creating a grand entry landscape upon arrival, the hotel also required more intimate spaces that cater for the large variety of functions in the hotel including F&B spaces, spa landscape or pittoresque sceneries for wedding photo taking. The challenge for the designers was to come up with a balanced proposal that catered for both of these needs.
The landscape concept takes reference from the typical natural mountainous Chengdu landscape, which is known to be very humid and contains dominant bamboo vegetation. The hotel landscape is themed as “Mystic Landscape “which became a signature landscape feature and reinforces the strong iconic identity of the hotel development.
A selection of native plants has been used to further enhance the Chengdu reference. Form and color of the local Ginkgo tree has been adopted as a design inspiration for various hardscape features such as planters, paving and water features.
The entrance area of the hotel has been decorated with contemporary tree planters containing Ginkgo trees. The shape of the planters makes reference to the morphology of a Ginkgo leaf. These planters combined with the integrated water mist features will create an intriguing and “mystic” entry experience. Aside from proposing an intriguing entry experience, we designed a bamboo garden that becomes a key area of the project. The design of this themed area is also inspired on the local landscape, well known by its mountainous bamboo vegetation combined with idyllic water streams. Both elements such as bamboo and water streams are integrated in the man-made landscape. The garden provides a unique green and lush backdrop through the large windows at the reception area. In addition, it is the perfect location for wedding ceremonies and picture taking.
To ensure high spatial quality, plants were selected and tagged at local nurseries to ensure quality and availability. Vital to the success of the project was the procurement of healthy and well-shaped trees. Key species such as the Ginkgo biloba, which is located at the welcome plaza, were procured more than one year before the construction started. Other species which are native for the Chengdu region, such as Phyllostachys and Acer buergerianum, were selected beforehand as well.
Landscape Concept Development
Feature walls to create dynamic spaces
Various feature walls within the landscape have been realized to “break” the large open spaces and create an interesting and intimate environment of subspaces that can be experienced by the hotel guests.
Feature Planter inspired on Ginkgo Leaf
The feature tree planters shape is based on the leaf of the common Ginkgo tree which are a native species in the Chengdu Landscape. The shape of the planter has an contemporary twist, and the materials are making a relation to the hotel’s iconic facade.
Native Feature Trees
The feature tree planters located in the landscape are planted with Ginkgo biloba trees. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, which is one of the main features the Ginkgo trees are known for.
The trees were tagged at local nurseries a year before planting to ensure the quality and natural form is sustained upon opening of the hotel
Overflow Water edge concept
The landscape located at the entrance of the hotel has a reflection pool. This reflection pool has an overflow water edge, which fits nicely with the hotel’s facade and strengthens the “Mystic Landscape” concept.
Landscape Architect: Atkins China
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: DP Architects (Architect)
Project location: No. 619 North Phoenix Street B, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Design year: 2014
Year Built: 2016