An eye for regeneration

  • A facade for a new six-star hotel in Wuhan, China
  • Angular frontage characterised by 902 hexagonal ‘eyes’
  • Helping Wuhan’s riverside become a centre for culture

Our design concept for the facade was to give every hotel room a ‘lens’ to the city. This determined the geometry, with each hexagon corresponding to one guestroom.

John Puttick
Project architect, Make

Project Details

Location Wuhan, China
Status Built 2013
Sectors Hotels and resorts, Tall buildings,
Area 71,000m²/764,200ft²
Client Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Company

In 2012 the 6-star, 30-storey Wanda Reign Wuhan was almost complete. The luxury hotel just needed a facade, which is where Make stepped in. Responding to the Han Show Theatre next door – also taking shape at the time, in the form of a giant red Chinese lantern – we sought to create a lively, angular frontage that drew upon the area’s mix of modern and traditional architecture and provided a visual counterpoint to this distinctive neighbour.

The dynamic cladding we designed is lined with glass triangles at podium level. From there rise 902 hexagonal shards that sharpen to a crown at the roof. The hexagons, made from reflective aluminium, are angled to create a 3D texture and to protect the rooms from solar gain. They’re backlit with LEDs and, as the light changes throughout the day, project moving shadows onto the building’s surface. The overall effect is one of twinkling eyes looking out over the city.

The Wanda Reign Wuhan forms part of the Wuhan Central Cultural District development – a major masterplan to regenerate the city’s riverside district. Over time, this new landmark will play an instrumental role in revitalising the area and establishing it as a world-class cultural destination.