As the second indigo hotel opened in Shanghai in 2018, our project Hongqiao Indigo hotel is located in Hongqiao airport hub area. Indigo hotel is renowned as the unique boutique hotel under the brand of the Intercontinental hotel group to respect authentic local cultures and its unique design. Our design started from the idea ‘ what the landscape experience should be for the guests who visit and stay at this Hongqiao Indigo hotel’. Shanghai is one of the hugest and most urbanized metropolis in the world and enormous numbers of high-class urban hotels compete vigorously to attract guests. Today, not only in Shanghai but also all over China urban hotels offer high-quality service to meet guests’ satisfaction. Our mission for landscape design is to differentiate the outdoor environment with strengthening its uniqueness,  thus creating a place that gives guests brand new pleasant and experiences.

Design Concept

A travelling is an extraordinary experience for everyone and hotels as the travel hub that offers guests a special and unusual environment. Hotels are the place where travelers from all over the world visit and enjoy the native culture, the place where business people get rest and relax from their business competition and stress, the place where locals gather and stay for special moments with their family. A wide variety of guests visit hotels for their purposes. Hotels are supposed to be special and extraordinary places for everyone.

The above vision was our initial intention for this hotel landscape and we decided to design the contemporary Asian style garden that shall make oversea guests feel the Asian exoticness and the oriental beauty. On the other hands, domestic guests can also feel the sophisticated and pleasant garden that they have never enjoyed before. Additionally,the garden will provide inner warmness and nostalgia for these domestic guests to ease and relax their body and mind as well.

Our design came from the traditional Chinese ink that represents essential east Asian culture. We regarded the garden space as a white campus and the black ink beautifully flew on it. Green islands were also located among black and white. When ink and water blended in, the natural beauty of phantasmagoria patterns appears. We aimed to design this beauty of ink on the land, then the flowing and spreading ink creates pleasant places at each corner to rest, chat and relax. We hope the garden shall offer guests one of the unforgettable travel memory.


The hotel’s garden area is approximately 1800 m2, however, almost 1200 m2 which means two-third of the garden area is occupied with fire engine access and hard standing area. The biggest challenge we faced is to solve and overcome these limitations and regulations. Without any design solution, the garden would be only the hard-paving plaza where is really difficult to rest or enjoy. After many studies and discussions with the client and the governmental division, we reached a method that using 50mm depth shallow and curving shaped pond which matches the regulation and also harmonizes landscape concept to weaken the existence of the fire engine space. The pond was set out strategically along the main building,it seems that the hotel is floating on the water and reflecting impressively. Besides, every corner of the rest space feces the water. Without mentioned, no guests shall notice the existence of fire engine    space and this contributed to the landscape’s one of the most successful factors.

Even we came up with this ideal solution, the construction was still a big challenge as well. Thus, we studied many of details and made mock-up samples to achieve this shallow pond idea on fire engine space.

The Beauty of Utility
We also carefully considered the scenes and sequences from the arrival experience to the hotel room with studying the guests’ flow from dropping off, checking in and walking through corridor to the guest room. What’s more, we repeatedly analyzed the viewpoints of the guests.

In addition, the hotel management requires a consecutive outdoor space from the banquet room that located on the south side of the site for multi-purpose use such as garden parties, art gallery exhibition,  mini concert and so on. Our design solution is not only to see the beautiful garden but also flexibly to use it with satisfying hotel management demands.


Generally speaking, this kind of urban hotel has limited garden space and outdoor was often occupied with vehicle circulation and service back yard. Therefore, guests can only enjoy hotel experiences and quality inside the building. We created the feature garden under the limited condition, the project shall change Chinese traditional ideas for the 5-star hotels such as huge, grand and gorgeous. We proposed a new value of the urban hotel garden with elaborate, pleasant and human-friendly design and nowadays a growing number of urban 5-star hotels start to focus on human scale and cozy gardens.

Project location: 188-43 Yonghong road MinHang district Shanghai

Design year: 2016

Year Built: 2018


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