The hotel is beside Chang’an Avenue, a main road through downtown Beijing, and its brand is actually changed from W to Sofitel. The principal challenge to design was to carry out renovation amid normal hotel operating. To do that, YANG pushed forward schematic design for one area after another, and carried out multiple site inspections to ensure the accuracy of dimensions in the drawings.
Photos of the scene before the renovation▼
Design scheme after transformation▼
Another conflict occurred in the design narrative: the Sofitel brand imbued with French elegance and romance seems alien to Beijing, the capital of the great oriental country with historical profoundness. Based on the analysis of these two cultures, YANG finally found two concrete elements - “the imperial garden” (a space combining imperial ceremonial solemnity and Chinese natural philosophy) and the Versailles Palace (a symbol of French sophistication and elegance) - and established a dialogue between them in the space. In this way, a Sotitel with both an oriental atmosphere of quiet dignity and concrete French-style details came into being.