History and culture are the backbones of this quaint hotel located in Chengdu’s historical hub Kuanzhai Alley. Designed by Chu Chih-Kang Space Design, the requirements for this project was to refurbish the interior spaces into a modern art gallery. Ultimately, the clients wanted a step into City Inn akin to walking into an art show.
Designer Chu Chih-Kang explains the concept further, “Chengdu is a cultural city. Kuanzhai Alley is integrated with present and past of Chengdu. The concept is to transfer the hotel into a modern art gallery. To make people see the history of this area, we let them to walk into the art show.”
With history as the key inspiration, the hotel has been transformed into a space to take visitors on a walk down memory lane. At the lobby, photos and antiquities are displayed as art work. “Every room is decorated in monotone. Pictures on the wall are street views in black-and-white colour, furniture in black, white or grey are in retro style,” the designer explains adding that his intention was to make the rooms look like a pop-up photo. “If guests take photos in the room, they will find out they are the only colourful object in a black-and-white photo. To use the power of social media to publicize the new image of City Inn Kuanzhai Alley, when guests share these photos of staying the hotel, it would be an efficient and free advertisement for City Inn Kuanzhai Alley.”
At the hotel’s restaurant, the designer incorporated the use of bamboo to decorate the ceiling and wall. Bamboo is also planted right outside the window to shield the view of the parking lot. “When the sun goes in through the green bamboo leaves, it brings a sense of freshness and delight to the monotone contemporary gallery,” the designer comments.
Throughout the hotel’s interior, there’s a chance that all the old pieces may give the spaces a heavy atmosphere. To prevent this, these historical objects are used as art pieces instead. The designer adds: “When you walk to hotel, you will discover Kuanzhai Alley’s present and past, see the mixture of old and new artwork and experience your stay at the hotel as a journey of contemporary art.”