Interior Design of Banyan Tree Nanjing Garden Expo / CCD
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Text description provided by the architects. Banyan Tree Nanjing Garden Expo is a luxury hotel located on Tangshan Mountain, which was once a dense paradise of clouds and mist. However, human exploitation and destruction has stripped its vegetation, changed the geography, eroded the soil and damaged the landscape, turning Tangshan Mountain into devastated industrial ruins. It has become imperative to beautify and restore the site to allow the symbiosis of man and nature.
Cross the “cocoon” to be reborn and rebuild a mysterious wonderland in the valley of the quarry. With a long abandoned quarry as the site of the hotel, the first priority of the project was ecological restoration. CCD deconstructed and remodeled various elements such as light, stones, forest and rain on the abandoned limestone quarry. In this way, a new mysterious wonderland is created in the old Quarry Valley. Cocoon symbolizes the end of the old form, but also the origin of a new life. From outside to inside, the cocoon is a matter of accumulation; from the inside out, it’s about breaking, rebirth and sublimation. Space design is the process of breaking the cocoon and rebirth, to let the imagination metamorphose into the art of living. Life comes from nature. For this project, the spiritual pursuit and artistic imagination of space is inspired by the life cycle “design – break through the cocoon – rebirth”. CCD likened the whole architecture and space to a “cocoon” that nurtures new life and presented the vitality and tension of “cocoon break and rebirth” with a minimalist and modern design language. The shape of the “cocoon” deconstructs and evolves to respond to nature.
“Cocoon” is the main form in the unified spatial context. With simple lines and layered woven bamboo elements, the space seems to return to the origin of human beings and nurture new life in the motherland of dreams. The curved shape makes the space soft and rounded. The remodeled space reveals a visual sense of metamorphosis and wonder. It looks like a pair of open arms, giving a sense of place like home. It is a place where the imagination begins and grows. The natural space engenders infinite vitality, leading to the distant future. Walking through space is a reboot of the consciousness of man and nature, from art to reality, from body to mind.
Art coming back to earth. After a long period of mining, there was little greenery left on the mountain, leaving only bare ground and exposed stones. The CCD team reflected on how to ensure the functionality of the design while integrating it with the environment to contribute to ecological restoration. To blend the architecture into nature, the designers adopted natural materials. The team believes that design is not just about form, but more importantly about becoming part of the natural environment. The selection of materials emphasizes sustainability and respect for the ecosystem. Taking nature as a creative medium, natural materials create a holistic art scene.
Valley of light. Based on site conditions and design intent, the designers created a “valley of light” in the lobby bar. Taking advantage of the depth and variations of the valley, the space is curved and cut to present a natural scale and inclusion, giving guests the impression of being surrounded by a natural canyon. The designers have designed this space as an adventurous journey. Walking along the mountain path to explore further and further, guests feel like they are standing on a cliff against the backdrop of the sunset. Natural hues set the overall spatial tone. The whole space is light and elegant, and incorporates natural forms. It is enriched by various structures, creating more possibilities for space exploration. Art integrates into space in various forms, provoking reflections on the relationship between people, space and nature through creativity and rich imagination.
Forest of time. Sunlight, forest and waterscape form an enchanting picture. The all-day dining restaurant takes flowing daylight and shadows to guide circulation, enhances the emotional experience through detail, and builds a poetic modern space where light and dark interact. This space is simple, natural and inseparable from nature. As the guests stroll through the greenery, a whole fascinating world appears. Here, time is slowed down, each detail is sculpted without artifice, and here and there a surprise is to be discovered. Large floor-to-ceiling windows bring abundant natural light into the space. Sunlight and bright color tones highlight the warmth of wooden materials, portraying a picture of comfortable living. The space is full of poetry, presenting a relationship of coexistence with the external environment.
Valley of the fireflies. Walking from the “Forest” to the “Valley of the Fireflies”, guests enter a secret world. The door of the Chinese restaurant echoes the lobby’s concept of “breaking the cocoon for rebirth”, and opens another journey behind the door. It not only ensures the unity of the design, but also enhances the immersive experience of the guests. As guests meander through traffic, subtle and sophisticated details wait to be discovered. The space is flooded with a discreet but enchanting rhythm. The design extracts the mysterious forest elements of the Tangshan Mountain and transforms them into screen patterns, which separate but connect different areas. Black and white, hardness and softness, implicit charm and perceptible strength, delicate grain and rough textures, balance each other in harmony.
rain forest. The limestone cliff of the quarry appears dreary and broken, but its magnificent scale is astonishing. Over the years, the plants have quietly grown between the rock layers and formed a beautiful texture on the stone cliff of the quarry. The entire quarry cliff looks like a natural landscape painting, which inspired the design team. The vitality of the space is based on a sustainable ecology, and is relevant to the continuity of the context of the site. Designers introduced the natural rocks of Tangshan Mountain inside. The rocks, eroded by winds and rain, show the traces of nature and allow the interior space to blend fully into nature. At the same time, the rocks also echo the spirit of the site while carrying the memories of nature. Poetic scenes, rustic textures and contemporary art come together in a sophisticated yet subdued way. The artwork “Eye of Tangshan Mountain” triggers the memory of the site while connecting the design to the artistic and cultural context.
Stone path. Each room is equipped with a hot spring bath with a view of the valley and the cliffs. The architectural structure and interior furnishings create a natural ambience that subtly resonates with the mysterious atmosphere of the quarry valley. Presenting shapes with scenes and expressing emotions through shapes is a central idea that the designers wanted to convey. To achieve this, the team gave full thought to the connection between indoors and outdoors. Retro green pervades throughout the space, representing the vitality of “new life” while creating a sense of merging with nature. The green tone creates poetry in the interaction without being too prominent. From the walls to the table, the warm texture injects a soothing vibe throughout the space. The still stones on the wall echo the setting of the site and intertwine with dynamic light and shadow, creating a harmonious scene.