Grand Hyatt Hefei

year of completion
China Resources Holdings Company Limited
LTW Designworks

Inspired by a wistful tale penned by the Chinese philosopher, Tao Yuanming, the interiors of this hotel were created as an enchanting journey for guests. In the story, a lone fisherman drifts downstream along a river with reeded marshland and chanced upon a cave etched into a cliff. On entering the cave, he discovered a paradise blooming with peach blossoms and its blissful inhabitants. He lingered but longed to share the discovery with loved ones, so he ventured to fetch them. However, when he tried to return to this sanctuary, sadly, the cave entrance eluded him forever.

This intriguing tale that weaves time, place and fantasy together is brought to life by the carefully crafted interiors, art and lighting. It was important for Project Lighting Design that the lighting is reminiscent of the light in Chinese paintings to enhance the illusion.

The result is a timeless interior journey that has an enduring quality. It was a unique opportunity to create a hotel lighting environment that is reminiscent of poetic scenes and transcends the trends and trappings of the modern life.

The entry lobby depicts flowing river scenes with ripple patterned stone flooring and the natural surroundings experienced by the fisherman. The ‘cliff’ is represented by a monumental feature wall with delicate carvings of peach blossoms. A slot above the wall parts as if to let a sliver of sky through, and in here, closely spaced downlights graze down, revealing textures and subtle colours. Wood sculptures dot the ‘riverbank’ opposite, against a soft backdrop of swaying reeds and flying birds. A soft light is cast over this marshland scene. Narrow beams are layered onto the wood sculptures, bringing out their form and texture, their shadows cast onto the background and fused into the artistic expression. In the ceiling, recessed slots are arranged in an angular fashion, as if drifting down the river scene. In here spotlights with varying optics were recessed.

The scale reduces as one enters the cave-like atmosphere of the lift lobby with ceramic wall tiles. Subtle uplighting from a discreet detail is used here, to depict light on a misty river.

The sky lobby experience brings subdued light levels with a dramatic feature. The fisherman’s boat and tackle stand alone, slightly elevated above black stone river pebbles. Narrow beam spotlights mounted high above throw shafts of light through the void space, mimicking moonlight.

At the casual café, the counter is framed within a bamboo structure of milky white ceramics. Floor recessed uplights graze the matt finish ceramics and wash the underside of the enclosure. A series of bespoke lanterns is provided with mini downlights incorporated to highlight food displays.

Warm uplight washes deep orange polished walls in the Chinese dining room as if to suggest sunset colours. A large chandelier incorporates decorative globes and a light panel which, through tunable white lighting, provides cool colour temperature during daylight hours, morphing into warmer dimmed hues for evening dining. Mini spotlights mounted within the chandelier structure illuminate tables below. Silk artwork gongs adorn the walls, lit by narrow beam downlights. Light levels are carefully calibrated to ensure the city views are appreciated through the glazing.

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Lighting design awards

Dezeen Awards 2021 Architectural Lighting Design Longlist

LIT Design Awards 2021 – Winner for Hotel and Restaurants Lighting

HOSPITALITY design awards

AHEAD (The Awards for Hospitality, Experience and Design) 2020 – Lobby and Public Spaces – Shortlist

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