This new hotel, condominium and retail complex in Wuxi, China unites sustainable design and functional efficiency with four key elements of traditional Chinese architecture that are here repositioned for the 21st Century. These elements are: Layering; Texture; Infiltration; Decoration.
This solution features a thoughtfully designed volume that rises from the northern boundary of the site. This maximizes north/south exposure for optimal solar efficiency and "feng shui." It brings generous natural light to building interiors, and affords optimal views to the surrounding landscape. It also affords privacy for the adjacent townhome development.
The single tower creates an iconic image. Its multi-layered elevation with traditionally inspired screen elements creates a uniquely harmonious feel, with solar shading and significant privacy. The tower's elevation expresses the carefully planned functions within. The tower's base features main entrance, retail, and above those the hotel functions; while at the upper half of the tower are condominiums.
Much of Wuxi's traditional architectural is along rivers and lakes, where playful reflections are integral to the architectural experience. Here, vertical screen elements are used to recreate this effect of reflection. The tower's lower half, which corresponds to its hotel functions, are clad with vertical terra-cotta strips, which afford solar shading and privacy while creating, through abstract architectural elements, the sense of reflection.
The retail area is conceived as a traditional streetscape, but abstracted and playing rendered using contemporary construction techniques.
This project for a new hotel, condominium, and retail complex in Wuxi, China, designed by Cordogan Clark & Associates Architects, won a limited invited competition.