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HBA translates tradition into modernity at the new JW Marriott Shenzhen

Hirsch Bedner Associates unveils a new approach to corporate hotel design

The world’s leading hospitality design consultancy, Hirsch Bedner Associates, adds to its portfolio of genre-defining luxury hotels with the new JW Marriott in Shenzhen, China. Using a dramatic architectural approach to create intimate spaces in the heart of an urban metropolis, HBA Director Ilija Karlusic describes the Shenzhen project as a “breakthrough approach to corporate hotel design”.

HBA was commissioned by China’s Jin Mao Group, owners of the JW Marriott Shenzhen, to create a luxury hotel in the trend-setting spirit of company. Working closely with Jin Mao, and Marriott International (NYSE:MAR), HBA has created an ultra-modern and unconventional property that stands out from the other five-star hotels in Shenzhen, southern China’s financial capital.

The JW Marriott Shenzhen opened in March 2009 in the city’s new central business district of Futian. The 27-storey, 411-room hotel was adapted from an existing office block, whose columns, escalators and divisions presented limitations for the designers, but also encouraged the creative use of architectural effects and motifs.

HBA utilized the Chinese concept of layering, as used in timeless courtyard designs, but translated tradition into modernity with a bold, contemporary edge. Gone are the usual large hotel lobby areas and extravagant chandeliers. Instead, sleek lines and geometrical symmetries provide the main focus and create ‘spaces within spaces.’ The resulting interior enables guests to find intimacy and comfort in the heart of a sprawling metropolis.

Visitors will be stopped in their tracks by the impressive hotel lobby. Silver-leaf metal screens wrap the entire two-level atrium, extending out to the porte-cochere to connect the stone-clad exterior and interior of the hotel. Eschewing traditional chandelier lighting, the lobby is illuminated with 18 gigantic floor lanterns that shoot upward for two levels toward the atrium ceiling.

A reflection pond mirrors the scene, creating an expanded sense of dimension that carries through to the guest check-in counter where another layer emerges: A ripple impressionistic glass feature wall with concealed shimmering fiber-optic lights.

Enveloping the space are unique curving screens that partially enclose the hip lobby lounge. This ‘space within a space’, is not only an ideal place to relax and gather with friends, but can be easily converted into a functional area for casual business meetings.

In adapting the original office building, HBA has created 411 spacious guestrooms, ranging upwards from 45sqm. The uncluttered, free-flowing layouts feature generous bathrooms that are almost as large as the sleeping quarters. A luxurious bathtub by the window affords sweeping views of the adjacent golf course, while purple-veined organic marble is offset with violet and fuchsia fabrics and butter-coloured walls. The combination of luxurious in-room amenities and vibrant colours creates an uplifting and enervating ambience for guests.

The JW Marriott Shenzhen features a signature Quan Spa designed around the concept of white water, replete with creative bubbles and flowing water effects. A unique 1,216sqft ballroom uses eye-catching backlit metal screens as a contemporary lighting installation instead of ceiling chandeliers.

Since opening, HBA’s design of the JW Marriott Shenzhen has been declared a revolutionary success. Owners, China Jin Mao Group believe the new hotel enhances their cutting-edge corporate image, while Marriott International is delighted that the design takes their brand DNA and presents it in such a unique and memorable property. The new design relates well to the city of Shenzhen too, reflecting the dynamic urban energy while providing a coveted and comfortable retreat for luxury travelers.

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