The Club Center project in Huzhou, a historic Chinese city in the northern part of Zhejiang province, west of Shanghai, was conceived as a service centre for the residents of the new high-end residential complex "Change on - White city".
This monumental building, located along one of the city's main arteries, is a welcome point and reception space: a special place designed to attract and welcome both residents and guests to the city.
In developing the concept for this project, the aim was to create a mix of functions and compositional elements capable of placing Change-on White City in a context of international references of excellence, structuring strong relationships with the cultural context of the place and the territory in which it’s located.
The newly constructed building was conceived as an expression of refined solemnity, characterised by large full-height windows, in order to present itself not as a closed entity but rather as an open, transparent and welcoming one.
The vertical elements of the façade, the large stone portals, have therefore been re-proposed also inside the building to guarantee a perceptive continuum of the heights and dimensions of the spaces.
The style is contemporary, with an international slant and touches of Chinese tradition, evoking an unostentatious luxury expressed through the integration of architecture and interior design in a continuum of spaces and surfaces.
The Interior Design intervention by Studio Marco Piva is based on a careful investigation of the compositional elements, materials, construction details and lighting effects, resulting in custom designs characterised by refined finishes that contribute to creating a welcoming and elegant atmosphere in all the rooms, from the large reception hall and swimming pool to the smaller living and entertainment areas, such as the billiard room and cigar room.
The materials used for the façade coverings and architectural details have also been extended to the interior, creating aesthetic effects on the various scales of the project, from the architecture to the smallest construction details of the furnishing elements, for an aesthetic of continuity that has always characterised SMP’s projects.
The design of the Huzhou Club Center uses a material combination that refers to the two opposite worlds of nature and artifice.
Following the concept of “expressive and formal continuity”, the materials chosen for the coverings, flooring and fixed furnishing elements were declined as a true "interior architecture" operation in harmony with the architectural features of the exterior, in a combination of "hard" materials such as stone, metals and glass and organic materials such as wood and fabrics.
In the composition of spaces and surfaces, the aim was therefore to combine functional elements and emotional aspects, creating almost sculptural "works", which through their shapes and textures dialogue with the surrounding environment. In fact, vertical metal elements have been inserted in order to create a perception of vibration that plays with both sunlight and artificial light. Elements reminiscent both of the reeds of the Chinese fan and of the bamboo tree, with its rigid, straight trunk, which has a strong evocative power in the local culture.
The Silk and Gingko Leaf (the formal archetype of the fan) initiated research into forms which then took shape in a stimulating relationship between rigour (the structural fabric of the architecture) and dynamism (the organic nature of the interiors). The forms of nature and the ancient Chinese tradition translated into the contemporary era: from the manufacture of silk to that of the fan, to the symbolism of the circle which in Chinese culture represents unity, integrity and infinity.
The Houzhou Club Center has three floors, combining three main functions: the welcome function is the first that the building expresses on the Ground Floor. Guests get a "sense of arrival", being welcomed into the reception, lounge and lobby areas, culminating in a spectacular lounge bar. As this space is visible from the street, it was conceived with a triple height of almost 13 metres. The result has been achieved: the guest finds himself welcomed in a sort of "cathedral" space capable of conveying a feeling of monumental rigour but also of refined emotionality.
The personal wellbeing function was located in the basement, the quietest and most private area, where the swimming pool, gym and sauna are located: extremely sober and elegant environments, reserved for personal intimacy and exclusive moments of relaxation.
The pool area is designed to convey a sense of suspension and a visual sensation of double vibration: the pool is made of mosaic, whose design is moved by the water, while the irregular metal cladding of the ceiling reinforces the play of reflections in continuity with the liquid surface which is always in slight movement.
The first floor is dedicated to leisure, recreation and entertainment, hosting more contained and articulated spaces for organising lunches, dinners, cocktails and meetings, including business meetings. It’s equipped with a series of other areas that can be reserved on request, such as: the billiard room, the cigar room, the poker room, the VIP executive lounge, the wine cellar and a large terrace overlooking the main street that serves as an outdoor lounge. These spaces are characterised by a more domestic and private functional and formal choice, with more intimate and more convivial areas to encourage privacy or guest interaction, as appropriate.
Inside the creative and multicultural heart of Milan you’ll find Studio Marco Piva: an academy of sciences more than an architectural and design firm, an experimental workshop where, with methodological rigor, different design scales are dealt with, from Master Plan to Architecture, from Interior to Industrial Design.
Assiduous research into the formal and functional aspects of space, updated technology and materials, developed with great attention to the environment, are the foundations of the philosophy of SMP, where the continuity between architecture and interior design plays a strategic role in the success of the Studio's projects.
Currently, Studio Marco Piva is engaged in the development of urban masterplans in China and multifunctional complex, private villas in the 5 continents, residential complex project in Milan, the recovery of historic buildings in Milan, Venice and Shanghai, as well as in the creation of design furniture and complements for the main Italian companies.
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