Interior Design of Banyan Tree Nanjing Garden Expo / CCD
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Text description provided by the architects. Banyan Tree Nanjing Garden Expo is a luxury hotel on Tangshan Mountain, once a paradise full of clouds and mists. However, human exploitation and destruction have stripped the vegetation, altered the geography, eroded the soil and damaged the landscape, turning Tangshan Mountain into ravaged industrial ruins. It has become imperative to beautify and restore the site to allow for the symbiosis of man and nature.
Break through the “cocoon” for rebirth and rebuild a mysterious wonderland in the quarry valley. With a long-abandoned quarry as the site for the hotel, ecological restoration was the first priority of the project. CCD deconstructed and reshaped various elements such as light, stones, forest and rain on the abandoned limestone quarry. In this way a new mysterious wonderland is created in the former quarry valley. Cocoon symbolizes the end of the old form, but also the origin of a new life. From the outside in, the cocoon is about accumulation; from the inside out it is about breaking, rebirth and sublimation. Space design is the process of breaking the cocoon and rebirth, to turn the imagination into the art of living. Life comes from nature. For this project, the spiritual pursuit and artistic imagination of the space are inspired by the life cycle “conception – breaking cocoon – rebirth”. CCD compared the entire architecture and space to a “cocoon” that nurtures new life, and presented the vitality and tension of “cocoon break and rebirth” with a minimalist, modern design language. The shape of the “cocoon” has been deconstructed and evolved to respond to nature.
“Cocoon” is the most important form in the unified spatial context. With simple lines and layered woven bamboo elements, the space seems to return to the origins of man and nurture a new life in the motherly dreamland. The curved shape makes the space soft and rounded. The reshaped space reveals a visual sense of metamorphosis and amazement. It resembles a pair of open arms and gives a homely sense of belonging. This is a place where the imagination begins and expands. The natural space breeds infinite vitality, leading to the far-reaching future. Walking in space is a reboot of the consciousness of man and nature, from art to reality, from body to mind.
Art that returns to Earth. After a long period of mining, there was little greenery left on the mountain, leaving only bare soil and stones visible. The CCD team thought about how to ensure the functionality of the design while blending with the environment to contribute to ecological recovery. To allow the architecture to blend in with nature, the designers have used natural materials. The team believes that design is not just about form, but more importantly, it is about becoming part of the natural environment. The choice of materials emphasizes sustainability and respect for the ecosystem. Taking nature as the medium of creation, the natural materials create a holistic, artistic scene.
Valley of light. Based on the conditions of the site and the design intent, the designers created a “Valley of light” in the lobby bar. Taking advantage of the valley’s depth and variations, the space has been curved and carved to provide natural scale and inclusivity, giving guests the feeling of being surrounded by a natural canyon. The designers conceived this space as an adventurous tour. Walking along the mountain trail to explore further and further, guests feel like they are standing on a cliff against the backdrop of sunset. Natural tones determine the overall spatial tone. The whole space is light and elegant and contains natural shapes. It is enriched by varied structures, opening up more possibilities for spatial exploration. Art integrates into space in various forms and evokes thoughts about the relationship between humans, space and nature through creativity and rich imagination.
Time forest. The sunlight, forest and water landscape form an enchanting image. The all-day dining restaurant uses the flowing daylight and shadows to direct circulation, enhancing the emotional experience through details and constructing a poetic, modern space where light and darkness interact. This space is simple, natural and inextricably linked to nature. As the guests walk through the greenery, a whole fascinating world comes into view. Time slows down here, every detail is sculpted without artifice, and a surprise here and there is waiting to be discovered. The large floor-to-ceiling windows bring plenty of natural light into the space. The sunlight and the bright color tones emphasize the warmth of wooden materials and give an image of the cozy life. The space is full of poetry and presents a coexisting relationship with the outdoor environment.
Valley of fireflies. Walking from the “Forest” to the “Valley of Fireflies”, the guests enter a secret world. The gate of the Chinese restaurant reflects the lobby’s concept of “breaking the cocoon for rebirth”, opening a new journey behind the door. It not only ensures the unity of the design, but also enhances the immersive experience of the guests. As guests wander through the circulation, subtle and refined details are waiting to be discovered. The space is flooded with an unobtrusive but enchanting rhythm. The design extracts the mysterious forest elements of Tangshan Mountain and transforms them into the patterns of screens, separating different areas yet connecting them together. Black and white, hardness and softness, implied charm and noticeable strength, delicate grain and rough textures, are in harmony in balance.
Forest of rain. The limestone cliff of the quarry appears bleak and broken, but its magnificent scale is astonishing. Over the years, plants have grown quietly between the rock layers, forming a beautiful texture on the stone cliff in the quarry. The whole quarry looks like a natural landscape painting, which inspired the design team. The vitality of the space relies on sustainable ecology and is relevant to the continuation of the site’s context. The designers brought the natural rocks of Tangshan Mountain inland. The rocks, eroded by wind and rain, show the traces of nature and ensure that the interior space is completely absorbed in nature. Meanwhile, the rocks also reflect the spirit of the site while carrying with them the memories of nature. Poetic scenes, rustic textures and contemporary art mingle in a refined yet moderate way. The artwork “Eye of Tangshan Mountain” evokes the memory of the site and connects the design with art and cultural context.
Stone path. Each room is equipped with a hot spring bath overlooking the valley and cliffs. The architectural structure and interiors create a natural atmosphere that subtly resonates with the mysterious atmosphere of the quarry valley. Presenting shapes with scenes and expressing emotions through shapes is a core idea that the designers wanted to convey. To achieve this, the team has given a lot of thought to the connection between inside and outside. Retro green spreads throughout the space, representing the vitality of “new life” while at the same time giving an impression of merging with nature. The green tone creates poetry in interaction without being too prominent. From the walls to the table, the warm texture brings a soothing atmosphere to the overall space. The silent bricks on the wall reflect the surroundings of the site and mix with dynamic light and shadows, creating a harmonious scene.