Le Meridien Hotel is located in an urban intersection of Zhengzhou City, China. It is a small-scale renovation project with around 6,000 SQM of landscape area in the front of an existing five-star hotel completed in 2013 by Neri & Hu.
The client’s brief is looking for a stunning hotel frontage landscape to improve the overall appearance as well as resolve the ground parking spaces and vehicular movement at the same time. With the location that is located in a quite densely populated area we set to achieve a landscape that is interactive, imaginative, and artistically crafted to become the new landmark for this neighborhood.
With respect to the historical weaving textile industry of Zhengzhou, we created sculptural-like landscape weave and fold to reveal an aesthetically pleasing public space. A Series of undulating lawn stripes represent the silk being woven – up and down – into fabric sheets by traditional machines.
Interval space is defined by matching the existing lobby pillars and architectural orders to stitch the landscape and building together in the master plan seamlessly integrated with the car parking layout. Water feature stripes with sculptures are proposed in front of the lobby drop-off as the main welcoming elements.
The use of two different colors for finishing stainless steel for the planters is to play with the unique public/private characters of the urban hotel. When viewed from the public roadside, brilliant bronze color is used to project outgoing and fun energy signifying this urban corner while black mirror material is selected to achieve a more calm and relaxing feeling when perceived from the hotel side looking out.
With the fact that there is a massive structure of a new underground metro station beneath half of our landscape spaces, we took great care in the coordination of paving patterns, manholes, and planting soil depth to achieve a simplistic design result. This includes camouflaging the four ventilation shafts and emergency staircase structure that pops up in the landscape with mirror finishes making them disappear visually.
After the landscape was completed, it lightens up the whole hotel district with the wavy lawn stripe, the unified reflective water feature, and the interplay of reflection from mirrored planter finishes. It’s a privately owned public space that became a new gathering spot catered for various activities from meeting up with friends, and Instagram selfies to wedding photoshoots. The landscape is being perceived as a new landmark of this intersection and draws many interests from people in the neighborhood and beyond.
Architects: Shma Company Limited; Area: 6000 m²; Year: 2019; Photographs: ARCH-EXIST;