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HBA and sister art division, Canvas, collaborate to steer Shangri-La Hotels in a new direction

July 13, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Global interior design leader HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates has injected an artistic spirit into the styling of the new Jing An Shangri-La hotel in Shanghai, which opened June 29, 2013.

Developed as the flagship property for the next generation of Shangri-La Hotels, the 508-room hotel envelops guests in a world of luxury and modern glamour, befitting China’s financial and cultural centre.

HBA was challenged to create something completely different and exciting for its long term working partner Shangri-La Hotels, taking a step away from the more conservative and traditional, towards something younger, sleeker, elegant, and more cutting edge. As such, HBA took inspiration from the city’s thriving and fashion savvy Jing-An district to develop a hotel that would resonate with FIS-250x250Shanghai’s new generation of travellers, while still being comfortable for Shangri-La’s regular guests. Here iconic design and contemporary luxury combine to provide an extraordinary experience.

Glamour starts at the porte cochere that is a wave of backlit crystal rods, and continues to the lobby’s wooden ceiling inset with lighted crystals mimicking a diamond bracelet. HBA designers also commissioned magnificent five storey crystal sculptures to lead up to the 1,740-square-metre (18,730 sq ft) pillarless Grand Ballroom – the largest in West Shanghai. There were a total of four million crystals used in these designs. With fashion a driving force of Shanghai’s well-heeled crowd, the grand staircase is anchored by a three storey mural of traditional Chinese patchwork patterns produced in verre églomisé, in tones of gold and silver. While inside the ballroom, custom-made panels of wall upholstery appear as the laced bodice of a dress.

Hand made carpets, inspired by Chinese watercolours, were made for all spaces including the guest rooms. Each area is unique: Lotus in the river in the Lobby Lounge, schools of fish in modern waters in the public areas, yellow and orange chrysanthemums in the Grand Ballroom, watercolour flowers in the guest corridors, and modern brush strokes in the guest rooms.

Sandra Cortner, Principal at HBA (Atlanta), comments: “Jing An Shangri-La sees the launch of a new generation of Shangri-La Hotels, which reaches out to a younger demographic, while still retaining the essence of Shangri-La. The statement we wished to evoke here embodies the Shangri-La DNA in an updated, glamorous fashion. Materials chosen for this project target the fashionable traveller and embody the energy of Shanghai”.

“Creating modern, innovative, and non-traditional ways to sculpt and integrate crystal, an essential Shangri-La component, into the interior design of this project was a daunting challenge. The result, however, is glamorous and new, and very gratifying”, remarks Todd Ellenberger, Senior Designer at HBA (Atlanta). “One guest of the hotel said to me: ‘This looks so unlike any Shangri-La that I’ve stayed in before, but as soon as I entered the hotel, I knew instantly that it was undeniably Shangri-La.’”

Perhaps one of the most spectacular aspects at the Jing-An Shangri-La is the inspired international art collection developed by Canvas Art Consultants. The hotel’s impressive collection of more than 200 contemporary pieces represents a full gamut of artistic media, including oil, acrylic, graphite, and ink images, photography, textile art, and decorative objects.

Matthew Whitaker, Director of Canvas (Atlanta), adds: “With Jing An Shangri-La, we sought to create a truly global collection of works that not only includes commissions by a number of emerging contemporary Chinese artists, but also includes works by artists from eleven different countries outside of Mainland China, each of whom pay homage to China’s rich cultural heritage with fresh, modern interpretations of time-honored subject matter and artistic technique. As such, we worked in tandem with our HBA colleagues to develop a grouping of works that maintains the timeless qualities synonymous with this legendary hotel brand, while pushing boundaries enough to pique the interest of guests from within Mainland China as well as from other parts of the world”.

Elsewhere in the hotel, HBA was responsible for the hotel’s Horizon Club Lounge, which takes up the entire 55th floor and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Shanghai. There is also a signature event space, known as the Lifestyle Suite, which has its own bar, reception area, living room, dining room, and courtyard. This self-contained suite is designed to provide the perfect combination of privacy and exclusivity for Shangri-La’s disguished VIP guests.

Jing An Shangri-La overlooks the focal point of Jing An Kerry Centre – a 3,000-square metre (32,292 sq ft) piazza featuring pathways, gardens, water features, and al fresco dining.  In the hotel’s upper levels, spacious guest rooms with rich yet subtle interiors occupy the top 29 floors of the hotel’s 60-storey main tower, and complement the stunning views of Shanghai visible through almost floor-to-ceiling windows. En-suite bathrooms are finished in white marble and feature custom designed mosaic artwork in gold and silver.

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