From the architects: City Inn is located on the opposite site of historical attraction area – Kuanzhai Alley in Chengdu. The client wanted to renovate it with limited budget.
Designer Chu Chih-Kang expressed the concept, “Chengdu is a cultural city. Kuanzhai Alley is integrated with present and past of Chengdu. The concept is to transfer the hotel into a modern art gallery. To make people see the history of this area, we let them to walk into the art show.”
History is the main element of the gallery. Photos and products of the old good times were displayed in the lobby as art works. Every room was decorated in monotone. Pictures on the wall are street views in black-and-white color, furniture in black, white or grey are in retro style. The room looks like a pop-up photo. If guests take photos in the room, they will find out they are the only colourful object in a black-and-white photo. To use the power of social media to publicize the new image of City Inn Kuanzhai Alley, when guests share these photos of staying the hotel, it would be an efficient and free advertisement for City Inn Kuanzhai Alley.
In the restaurant, the characteristic plant of Sichuan – bamboo was used to decorate the ceiling and wall. Outside the window, green bamboo was also plant to shelter the view to the parking lot. When the sun goes in through the green bamboo leaves, it brings a sense of freshness and delight to the monotone contemporary gallery.
The designer does want to avoid the heavy atmosphere that old stuff would bring up; instead of it the designer decorated the historical objects as art pieces in the hotel. When you walk in hotel, you sense Kuanzhai Alley’s present and past, see the mixture of old and new artwork and the accommodation experience is a contemporary art sensory journey.