With21 Boutique Hotel / Jupiter & Mars
- Photographs: Qingshan Wu
Manufacturers: 伯陶科（paneltek）, 富美家（Formica), 旭格(Schuco)
Text description provided by the architects. Xinhua Road, where With21 hotel will be situated, was formerly known as Avenue Amherest. Constructed in 1925, it bordered the Shanghai International Settlement. It is known as “the first garden road in Shanghai”. Its historical heritage is extremely rich, former ministerial residences and celebrity villas line both sides of the road. Various historical buildings of different ages, styles, and materials are intertwined with the tall and luxuriant phoenix trees on the road, forming an unparalleled Shanghai-style tranquil atmosphere.
The existing building originally operated as a budget hotel, which has been phased out in the wave of industry upgrading, and at odds with the overall social fabric of area. In the initial discussion with the client, we suggested that the characteristic element of 21 rooms should be retained, which will serve to emphasize “small and delicate, less and fine” business values, with the aim of providing exceptional rooms, and excellent service to every guest. This is the concept of “With21” brand.
Although the current building has excellent geographical conditions, it is not directly connected to Xinhua Road; to reach the hotel, you need to walk about 30 meters from Xinhua Road Street through an old community. The hotel is surrounded by multi-storey communities which were typical in the 1990s. The complex external environment and architectural facade expression bring challenges to the design. Ultimately, we decided to extend the Shanghai-style tranquil atmosphere unique to the external streets to the depths of the community, using blue bricks and brass-colored metals as representative of the refined Shanghai-style building materials. The chamfered wall treatment brings rich light and shadow changes to the façade throughout the course of the day. The resulting simple but refined exterior forms an intriguing dialogue with the surrounding community environment, captivating an interesting microscopic dislocation between the external integrity of the urban interface and the everyday space it encloses.
The exquisite tranquility of the exterior is subtly extended to the interior of the hotel through the curved wall of the entrance. By rotating the spatial axis by 90 degrees, we have achieved three times the length of the entrance sequence in the narrow first floor space. At the same time, we have set up three nodes in the total path of less than 12m. We hope to bring people the “illusion” in sensory scale through the reset of spatial logic, and deepen the sense of arrival and depth of the entrance to the hotel. This process is just like the curved rock wall on the first floor of KANDALAMA Heritage Hotel. Through the brief but strategic approach into the hotel, guests can rapidly disconnect themselves from the boisterous urban fabric, and relish in a calm and quiet oasis.