LAYAN Design won multiple awards including the prestigious Asia Hotel Design of the Year Award for The PuYu Hotel project in Wuhan/China at the Asia Hotel Design Awards (AHDA) held in Singapore on 12 March 2015. The awards, which were judged by representatives of some of the world’s leading hotel companies, architectural practices and interior design firms, announced winners of 12 categories from a shortlist of 48 projects across Asia.
Aside from the Asia Hotel Design of the Year Award, The PuYu Hotel project also enabled LAYAN to take home three more awards in the Architecture- New Build (Urban), Interior Design — Event Space (Conference, Banqueting & Meetings), and the Interior Design – Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas categories.
“Wherever we build, in the heartland of China, the Middle East or Europe, we try to create a balance between modern luxury and an aesthetic that is locally specific,” said Johannes Hartfuss, owner, director and principal designer of LAYAN. “We are honored to be recognized for The PuYu Hotel project as it truly validates our brand of design, which relates luxury experiences to the rich cultural heritage of the country that the hotel is based in.”
Located in the dynamic and international city of Wuhan, The PuYu breaks the stereotype that the aesthetic of luxury demands a uniform look and feel, regardless of the country within which it is located. For its design, LAYAN looked for a sympathetic union between Chinese traditions and a modern approach to design that would be appreciated by the hotel’s international guests. The aim was to redefine luxury in China, and to make the 330 room five-star accommodation timeless and sustainable regardless of future trends.
The PuYu’s spaces work hand-in-hand with its service but permit quiet retreat when necessary. Instead of ostentatious display or the functionality of check-in, guests step to a grand lobby that invites them into The PuYu’s calm pace but also makes it easy to transit in and out of the hotel. Guests can move from the lobby to their suite or the club room and then on to one of The PuYu’s three restaurants with no jarring changes of pace and without losing contact with what the hotel offers.
In addition, the hotel’s three restaurants were an opportunity for LAYAN to define the hotel’s aesthetic in three very different ways. Soho, located on the ground floor overlooking an external courtyard garden exudes a fresh, all-day dining experience, smartly styled in light timber. The Damiano provides guests with a more formal European dining experience including an open kitchen finished with warm copper and wall panels of butterflied marble and hand-cast bronze tiles. For a link to local flavors and hospitality, the Jade Garden is where guests can come to enjoy a Chinese dining experience in private rooms seating four to 30 people. Contrasting color, intimate lighting and exquisitely carved timber exude a modern yet authentic approach to Chinese traditions.
The heart of the event space is the grandiose 800sqm ball room. Behind the soaring ceiling, made from polished copper representing a traditional Chinese screen pattern, state of the art conferencing equipment and facilities are located. A group of custom design chandeliers drop from the ceiling and creative a festive dramatic ambience. The material palette is both luxurious and restrained.
Though recycled materials and those that came from renewable sources were prioritized, LAYAN made a point to source locally produced materials with the added advantage of reducing transport and storage costs, boosting local businesses and industry, and allowing the firm to take advantage of local design solutions.
Jade, bronze and ceramic objects in the rooms and open spaces of the hotel were sourced from local markets and commissioned from workshops in the area. Even the art was either bought or commissioned from Wuhan artists and served to bring lightness and continuity with Chinese traditions of painting.
“We didn’t shy away from using art and accessories to create a strong cultural link,” said Hartfuss. “Used correctly, locally sourced ornaments can be integrated to look very modern and understated.”