The Keqiao Hotel project is located just outside of the new Keqiao scenic area, which is mostly dominated by newly built traditional Chinese houses surrounding the authentic historical core of Keqiao village. In this type of village, waterways rather than streets are the major means of transport and the backbone of the urban fabric. The site sits between the old town and the general urban area with its standardised residential buildings. The new hotel needs firstly to deal with this discontinuous urban-scape and also harmonise with the historical water town, yet not through the simple mimicry of form. The gray-blue, tile covered pitched roofs of the adjacent old town connect to the landscape above the ground. The roofs and the landscape blur each other's boundaries, and the roofs become metaphorical hills. Through the manipulation of landscape profiles, the roof/hill topographies cut through each other and form a habitable landscape. The spaces in between are filled with water, consisting of ponds, creeks and canals, which connect to the river-centred fabric of the typical Yangzi triangle water town that lies outside the site. The buildings above, like the bridges of ocean liners, connect the different bodies of water separated by the aligned hills, and offer poetic views overlooking the roofs of historical Keqiao. The design starts from composing a series of curves presenting the ambiguous section of roof/hill, under which hotel public spaces are nesting in. Carefully scaled, organized sections are extruded, sets of the sections are placed to build up intersection between them. The ground is filled with water at first place, the intersect gives different width to the water, thus, a canal system like the old water town appears on the site. Guest entrance under the hill takes cars to B1 level, the roof landscape cuts open B1 to invite sunlight to the underground guest entrance hall. It connects underground space to the public spaces arranges around the water. Restaurants, bars, tea house, library and SPA are connected by canals, lakes and water courtyards. The connected roof/hill has been perforated with careful analysis of the space underneath to provide circulation, nature light and appropriate atmosphere. The roof and the water interplay in the way of the famous Keyan ancient mining site, which the carved stone submerged in water. Most of guest rooms are lifted to houses above the public roof, like bridges crossing mountains, they span between canals and water yards to provide the room with different view. They are carefully orientated to maximize the view towards the historical town, and connected by bridges into a ring stacking on top of the roof/hills.
SpActrum is an award-winning architectural design practice. It was founded in London in 2012, and opened the Beijing office in 2016, the Shanghai Design Center in 2021. Under the leadership of three company partners, Yan Pan, Zhen Li, and Yimeng Tang, SpActrum has stepped into the core area of China’s contemporary social changes and drastic urbanization process. SpActrum closely collaborates with clients who are the leading pioneer figures in tourism & hospitality, business, culture, fashion, contemporary art, and many other fields, with projects encompassing different scales and types, from urban regeneration to interior design, from sports parks to art installations.