Chicago, USA – Global architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) announces the completion of Conrad Shenzhen, Hilton Worldwide’s first luxury offering within the prominent China gateway city. Located within the blossoming Qianhai central business district, the 300-room hotel was developed by Horoy Group, with interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Sited along the edge of the development, the hotel creates an important buffer between Qianhai’s growing urban centre and the low wetlands of the Qianhai Bay shoreline. This unique location rewards the Conrad Shenzhen with both an urban setting as well as tranquil sunset views over the horizon.
Embracing the Conrad brand’s dual focus as a luxury business hotel with leisure amenities, the Conrad Shenzhen’s massing is designed to embody these two core values. The guestroom tower is positioned along the eastern edge of the site and borders the adjacent business district. Efficiently designed as a slab tower with a double-loaded corridor, the tower creates a street wall that simultaneously embraces the district’s urban core while creating a boundary that defines its edge. The repeating modularity of 5.4-metre-wide rooms creates a luxurious yet rational regularity to the tower organisation.
The podium, containing all the hotel amenities, is organised as a series of cascading outdoor spaces reminiscent of the nearby terraced hillsides. At the ground level, the podium volume is lifted to create a 2,000-square-metre porte cochère, which allows the landscape to extend across the site and opens views to the adjacent wetlands. From here, guests ascend five floors to the arrival lobby, where the terraced gardens open before them. These outdoor spaces provide an oasis from the demands of business and create a contemplative atmosphere rich in elegantly refined materials and design. Art and nature permeate the terraces, reinforcing the more leisurely character of the podium amenities, which include outdoor dining at the bar, poolside cabanas, and a lounge terrace for afternoon tea.
“Conrad Shenzhen offers a hotel experience unlike any other in the city,” said GP CEO and President James Zheng, AIA, LEED AP. “The large, landscaped roof atop the podium provides a serene garden setting in the heart of Shenzhen.”
The design of the typical guestroom façade reinforces the interplay between business and leisure through its combination of luxurious materials and thoughtful detailing. Textured stone is framed in bronze metal to create a crisp geometry that softens under the warm illumination of the sun. Perforated bronze screens conceal operable windows while filtering sunlight into the guestrooms. Oversized floor-to-ceiling glass, measuring 3.1 metres wide by 2.85 metres tall, occupies the centre bay of each room and extends uninterrupted views to the surrounding landscape. The subtle undulation of the façade playfully reflects the sun within the rigorous design like ripples across the surface of Qianhai Bay.
The rich façade palette of warm stone, bronze metal and insulated glass creates an image of understated sophistication for the project. Across the tower facade, materials intertwine to create a texture that emphasises the changing quality of light throughout the day. This woven pattern is used intentionally to connect the design to the region, recalling the woven textures of local fishing baskets significant to the early days of Shenzhen. In this manner, the design embraces its local context by incorporating important traditional characteristics while elevating it through the use of refined materials and elegant details – a maturation not unlike the transformation of Shenzhen itself.