Design Spotlight | Le Meridien Zhengzhou By Neri&Hu

The Le Meridien Zhengzhou took on a makeover, with "archive" as its running theme. (Pedro Pegenaute)

In Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province in north-central China, the Le Meridien hotel took on a new look inspired by the rich heritage of the region when Shanghai studio Neri&Hu redesigned the 25-story hotel with the concept of “archive” in mind.

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The building features projecting glass boxes and an entrance composed of a forest of bronze columns. The hotel underwent a total interior and exterior overhaul, with patterns appropriate to the region. Glazed glass boxes contrast the façade with surrounding monolithic towers, and perforations pattern the side walls of these boxes, depicting the leaves and flowers of the Henan wild rose.

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“The archive seemed like the one metaphor that could carry through all aspects of the design, from building to interior to artwork to finish,” architect Rossana Hu told architecture site Dezeen on the firm’s largest project ever.

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The hotel’s gray sandstone-clad atrium features rows of irregularly spaced openings that reference the limestone surfaces of the nearby Longmen Caves, where famous Chinese Buddhist art is carved into the walls.

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Hu and partner Lyndon Neri describe the Le Meridien hotel as the most extensive interdisciplinary project they have been responsible for since founding their studio in 2004.

“It’s much more efficient [to manage the entire project], and an overall coherence was within our control to manage,” Hu told Dezeen. “We were able to oversee all aspects without having to fight with an outside consultant who may not see the same design vision.”

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Architecture & Design, Culture