Architecture


The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, An Architectural Icon in China

Diana Subirats


Chinese architect Ma Yansong found inspiration in the traditional bridges depicted in ancient Chinese paintings to create the spectacular Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort.


As in a spectacular display of magic, emerging from the waters of Lake Taihu in Huzhou, China, rises a huge horseshoe-like structure, home to the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, in this enchanting city of silk and tea. Designed by renowned Chinese architect Ma Yansong, founder of Beijing’s celebrated MAD Architects, this elegant futuristic-style hotel fits in perfectly with the serene natural landscape surrounding the lake.sheraton huzhou hot spring resort, huzhou, china, ma yansong, mad architects, beijing, best hotels in huzhou, resorts in china, best architectural buildings, most artistic hotels in huzhou, most beautiful hotels in china, most unique hotels in china, lake taihu, sheraton hotels in china

“Throughout Chinese history, people have always maintained a harmonious relationship with nature, and this has become an essential part of our culture and tradition,” comments Yansong about his innovative design. The architect also took into account the fact that the city of Huzhou is famous for its legendary ink paintings of spectacular views of rivers and lakes.

The arch bridge is a principal element in traditional Chinese architecture. Two curved towers converging at the top of the building create an arched profile reflected on the calm waters of the lake. One can only see the upper arch, but the iconic building is actually a complete oval. Two underground levels are connected to the visible structure. It’s amazingly unique architecture is impressive.

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The towers are over 300 feet tall and 380 feet wide. The 27 floors of this majestic hotel house 321 rooms and 44 suites overlooking the lake. The shape of the building allows for beautiful views from every room. Some of the exclusive hotel amenities include high-speed Internet, LCD screen, iPod connections, ergonomic furniture and spacious marble bathrooms. It also includes 39 separate villas and other buildings for restaurants, conference rooms, salons, state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, a marina, as well as the city’s famous hot springs. Guests can also laze in the solarium, go bowling, explore the hotel shops or enjoy a lush treatment in their holistic spa.

The curved line is the predominant characteristic in Yansong’s design vocabulary, expressed harmoniously in all spaces both indoors and out. Elegance and good taste define the ceiling in the lobby, made with 20,000 Swarovski crystals and elegant European natural crystal chandeliers shaped like waves. To complete the sumptuous look, the architects introduced citrine, a yellow quartz that is synonymous with good health in the East, as the material used for the roofs and porches.

Since Jade is considered a symbol of purity and elegance in China, the décor includes a generous use of this element gemstone, especially on the floors, elevating the level of sophistication in the interiors. The floor of the grand lobby is layered with white jade from Afghanistan, inlaid with eye-of-tiger stones from Brazil.

The design of this architectural marvel has been meticulously planned, but the real show starts at night. An LED lighting system covers the exterior like a mesh of lights projecting a rainbow of different colors and textures onto the lake. Ma Yansong considers his buildings “public art” with human spirit and emotion at its core. With this structure, he has managed to perfectly fuse modernity with Chinese aesthetics and symbolism.  ■

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