22.07.2013

China’s Sichuan Province will witness a meeting of Chinese heritage and contemporary flair when The Temple House, designed by award winning architectural practice Make, opens in Chengdu in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The third House from Swire Hotels, The Temple House, features a contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese design by Make. The hotel is a part of the Chengdu Daci Temple Cultural and Commercial Complex, a large-scale mixed use project jointly developed by Sino-Ocean Land and Swire Properties. With its prime location in the Daci Temple area, a historical site in the city’s prosperous Jinjiang District, the hotel’s design is sensitive to nearby historic buildings, including the ancient Daci Temple, that form part of a city government conservation scheme.

Make’s commitment to context-driven design is highlighted by the integration of the hotel’s two ‘L’ shaped blocks (one incorporating 100 hotel rooms and the other housing 42 serviced apartments) with beautifully restored Chinese courtyard buildings that date back to the Qing Dynasty. These historic buildings will themselves play an active role in the complex, housing the hotel’s entrance lobby and an art gallery.

John Puttick, partner and lead architect for Make in China said: “The Temple House’s heritage location raises important design issues, reflecting the current debate on how best to handle China’s surviving built heritage. Our design respects and preserves the site’s historic buildings by integrating them into the hotel, while also delivering new, contemporary design features that are sensitive to this heritage.”

Shying away from cookie-cutter hotels, Make’s design for The Temple House provides guests with an exceptional experience, appealing heavily to their senses of sight and touch. The three-dimensional woven façade combines modern design with traditional local architectural elements (timber, brick and step stones). The façade, inspired by the Sichuan region’s strong history of weaving and brocade, features a perforated brickwork pattern that weaves together the window and spandrel panels with brick panels.

Inside, guests will be met with a warm, champagne-coloured façade, framing a sequence of courtyards in the space between the two new buildings. The lush, undulating landscape of these courtyards is reminiscent of the terraced fields found on Sichuan’s steep hillsides, while lightwells will allow plenty of natural light to penetrate to the complex’s lower level, which contains shared public facilities.

The Temple House also has several sustainable features integrated into its design, including extensive green landscaping throughout. Glazing has been controlled to reduce heat loss in winter and solar gain in summer while delivering good natural light and views. Rainwater will be collected for reuse and water conservation measures will be in place in the hotel. Make has designed the project with a target of LEED ND Gold and Chinese Green Building Evaluation Label 2-Star certification.

Katy Ghahremani, Make’s lead architect for the project said: “Our design for The Temple House could only have been done for this specific site, in this place in China, and in response to this particular brief. Our ambition for the hotel was to deliver a design in keeping with the project’s location and context. In this case, we have reflected the hotel’s heritage location, by incorporating the original buildings into the design and introducing local themes such as bamboo and terraced fields. The concept has been taken through from the design of the exterior architecture to the interior details of the guestrooms, delivering a cohesive experience for the guest. We believe the result will provide a wonderful and memorable experience for hotel guests and visitors, rooted in The Temple House’s unique location.”

Make has also been commissioned to convert two historic courtyard buildings nearby into the house’s luxury spa, which will be open to both hotel guests and visitors. Additionally, Make is designing the nearby Pinnacle One, a 47-storey international Grade A office tower also in the Chengdu Daci Temple Cultural and Commercial Complex, creating yet another striking new landmark in the Daci Temple conservation area.

The Temple House is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2014. Make has previously worked with Swire Hotels on the design of another hotel project, the Montpellier Chapter, United Kingdom which also combined new construction with the restoration of historic buildings.

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