Luxury brand NUO opened its first flagship, NUO Hotel Beijing. The property was developed in conjunction with Kempinski Hotels and entirely owned by Beijing Tourism Group (BTG).
Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) created a signature look for the first hotel owned by NUO, China’s first international luxury brand. Drawing inspiration from China’s 5,000 years of heritage celebrating traditional Chinese culture, the 28-story NUO Hotel Beijing takes its cues from the Ming dynasty.
HBA designers were tasked to create an international hotel reflecting Chinese heritage and culture. The HBA team spent six years immersing in the Ming dynasty’s history and cultural significance. The designers were, however, challenged not to get too caught up in the ornamentation of Ming China, and to take a refined and selective look at the design.
NUO Hotel Beijing marks one of HBA’s first designs to bring several divisions of the firm into one project – Canvas Art Consultants, Illuminate Lighting Design and HBA Graphics.
The significance of Chinese art serves as a cornerstone throughout each space of the hotel. Guestrooms are based around the Chinese tea ceremony – a signature aspect of the NUO brand. Roots of the presentation and serving process inspire many aspects of the guest experience, specifically in the guestrooms.
The team at Canvas selected art that reflects Chinese culture. The grand entrance is filled with seven foot tall blue and white Ming vases intricately hand painted, flanking a large sculpture centerpiece by contemporary artist Zheng Fanzhi.
Illuminate installed lighting that spans the ceiling in the common area and can project multiple images. Lighting is weaved into the fabric of the interior design. Since the hotel design revolves around modern art displays, Illuminiate implemented light fixtures that are art-specific, such as framing projectors, which have a focused, shaped beam of light when introduced into a scene set environment to deliver high contrast levels creating a gallery-like experience for the guests. Illuminate also introduced a piece within the lobby, RGB LED backlit barrisol panels located within the vertical sides of the deep pocketed skylights, which help draw the eye up into the large volume and also offers the possibilities of abstract motion. The animation changes with different time of day, events or festivity that help compliment the artistic and creative essence of the hotel.
HBA Graphics was commissioned to produce signage and graphics for the property’s food and beverage outlets, as well as a bespoke set of room amenities. There are details such as the hand-painted ceramic plaques used to identify guest room number.
NUO Hotel Beijing is comprised of 438 guestrooms, including 55 suites, all with floor-to-ceiling views of the city. Furnishings in warm woods and leather, jewel-toned accessories, silk-patterned walls, wooden and textured marble floors combine in a contemporary interpretation of Ming Dynasty-inspired residential style. Guestrooms include the original print wall mural of Zeng Fanzhi's paintings, an interpretation of "Stepping on Snow to Look for Plum Flowers," "Mountain" and "Rampike."
Dining and entertainment venues at NUO Hotel Beijing include Jia, the hotel's Chinese restaurant; N'Joy for international all-day dining; NUO'Ki for contemporary Japanese cuisine; O'Bar with its craft cocktails and outdoor terrace; gourmet boutique U'Deli; as well as the hotel's art-bedecked Lobby Lounge.
Unique to NUO Hotel Beijing is the Yuan Tea House, which debuts along with the hotel opening, with its interiors evoking a courtyard in a contemporary interpretation of a Ming Dynasty-era tea house.
For relaxation and wellness, guests may avail of NUO Fitness' lifestyle gymnasium and a 82-foot heated indoor swimming pool. NUO Spa has eight treatment rooms and traditional Chinese medicine center.
With its opening, NUO Hotel Beijing unveils a total of 26,910 square feet of conference and banqueting facilities, including 14 function rooms and the pillar-free 17,222-square-foot Yongle Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 1,600 guests and has natural daylight, a 29-foot-high ceiling designed for lighting installations, 807-square-foot wide LED screen, lighting to change the room's mood at the touch of a button and direct-access elevators with the capability to accommodate cars.
In keeping with NUO Hotels' commitment to "low-carbon green intelligence," NUO Hotel Beijing is equipped with an air-purification system with high performance "F8 classification recognized by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)", which filters up to 90 percent of PM 2.5 particles, an intelligent lighting system and an energy-saving curtain wall system designed by German firm Schuco which reduces air-conditioning and heating wastage in the hotel. The hotel also stayed faithful to the "green building" template, adhering to gold-level certification standards in LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Building Rating System) as well as achieving gold level pre-certification.
HBA has more than 1,600 designers around the globe in 21 offices and a recent expansion in locations in Asia, The company has offices in Atlanta, Bangkok, Beijing, Clark, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Macau, Manila, Melbourne, Miami, Moscow, Mumbai, New Delhi, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.