The City Inn is located on the opposite of a historical attraction area - Kuanzhai Alley in Chengdu. The client wanted to renovate it with limited budget.
Designer Chu Chih-Kang expressed the concept, “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.”
History is the main element of the gallery. Photos and products of the old times were displayed in the lobby as art works. Every room was decorated in monochromatic colors. Pictures on the wall are street views in black-and-white. The retro-style furniture is black, white or grey. The room looks 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.
In the restaurant, the characteristic plant of Sichuan - bamboo was used to decorate the ceiling and wall. Outside the window, green bamboo was also plant to shelter the view to 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 does want to avoid the heavy atmosphere that old stuff would bring up; instead of it the designer decorated the historical objects as art pieces in the hotel. When you walk in hotel, you sense Kuanzhai Alley’s present and past, see the mixture of old and new artwork and the accommodation experience is a contemporary art sensory journey.
City Inn (Chengdu Kuanzhai Alley)
Client: Overseas Chinese Town Holdings Company (OCT Group)
Chief Designer: Chu Chih-Kang
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Area: 4742 sqm
Completion Time: 2016.09
Photographer: Chu Chih-Kang
About Chu Chih-Kang
The name Chu Chih-Kang had been internationally renowned in 2015. He has won more than 10 most authoritative design awards from German, Japan, Hong Kong, America and Mainland China, including German Design Award and ICONIC AWARDS issued by German Design Council.
In 2016, Chu Chih-Kang was invited by GAA to display his new conceptual design Mountain‧ Water in Parallel Show “Time Space Existence” of La Biennale di Venezia 2016.
In 2008, Chu had gained recognition of iF and Reddot with his design-wood stool “Dong Dong Qiang. Chu is good at discovering touching moments in his memory, thus his works always resonate with readers. “Be true” is what he emphasizes. He believes that when nature of space and expectations of owners are understood, issues of space application are solved and ornate decoration is replaced by simple materials, the character of the space will be shown.
Chu comes from Taiwan and has been exposed to rich culture since his childhood. Chinese cultural elements, which are not superficial but with deep cultural connotation, could always be found in his design. Combined with his keen observation of scenario, his works could always awaken those emotions in people’s memories. That is why his works could touch readers’ heart. His works touch not only Chinese who have shared cultural memories, but also westerners. “In Chu’s works, we see new modern eastern design” said such westerners.