HBA designs Artyzen Sifang recreation center with architecture by Ettore Sottsass

Artyzen Sifang is set to open next month as part of CIPEA (China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture), located in Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province.

The project is comprised of 22 buildings designed by nearly two dozen international and Chinese architects and firms, including New York-based architect Steven Holl, dissident artist Ai Wewei, Chinese Pritzker prize winner Wang Shu, and UK-based David Adjaye. Notably, the recreational center within the complex was designed by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and his architectural practice, Sottsass Associati.

The recreation center, located on a hill with a slope to the south that extends into the lake, will complement the scenery. The center will be located slightly in the ridge of the mountain. It will have the social occasion sections including the pub, the reading room and the KTV houses. It will also have sauna rooms and spring massage rooms.

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The social sections will function as the main entry to the building, which will have views of the surrounding. There will be a large-sized winding corridor, as well as long and circular walls embracing the rooms in different sizes and creating an internal garden. The ancient architectural notion that winding corridors should be designed in a space and size that fits human body with the most private surroundings will be found here. The design of the space will involve the woods and fresh air.

HBA partner David T’Kint designed the interiors for the recreation center, which is one of the 22 buildings placed around a lake nestled in the mountains. The complex will be managed by Artyzen Hospitality Group.

According to T’Kint, Ettore Sottsass' architectural design is complex. Their challenge was, therefore, to make this work from an operational point of view as a wellness center with a few guestrooms and connect all the areas to make this a unified guest experience.

HBA developed interiors that married Sottsass’ exterior architecture. Everything is based on geometrical volumes and touches of color without being overwhelming. The walls, for example, are divided in an irregular gridline of shapes, whereas their texture is a warm white stucco.  The floors are rhythmed by woolen rugs, designed as geometrical forms. The furniture is a mix of bold contemporary items, balancing neutrals and colors. Accessories decorate the spaces and add to the casual feeling overall.

There will be 22 rooms for this property ranging from 463 square feet to 850 square feet. The rooms will have walk-in wardrobes and five fitting bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs. There will also be mahjong sets, table tennis and KTV.

The 10,764-square-foot wellness center will also have an indoor pool, fitness studio and spa suites. For dining, there will be a bar on a large platform with an outdoor space that visually connects with nature on all sides.

Photo credit: Will Pryce

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Sam Schwartz has spent more than four years with First Hospitality, including most recently as a general manager.