Chongqing is a vibrant city, rich with traditional culture and political history. It is a place that has many readings. This hotel was conceived at a time time of transformation for Chongqing between the past and the future.
Witnessing the transformation as the city eliminates old neighbourhoods, our objective was to capture the essence and implant the memory of several parts of the fading city and its pivotal political legacy.
Situated in the worlds tallest Indigo Hotel, on a new hilltop business district overlooking North Chongqing. The concept encapsulates the narrative of a neighbourhood know as “Shi Ba Ti” (十八梯) or “Eighteen Stairs” woven into a story of political intrigue dating back to Chongqing’s heyday as the Provisional Capital of China (1937 to 1945), in a dialog about the duality of Chongqing, past and present, and the discourse of two political parties of the bygone era.
The Indigo Hotel brand identity is built on experiential authenticity and contemporary reinterpretation of the essential qualities of a neighbourhood, giving the hotel guest something tangible to understand, connect to and remember in each host city.
The neighbourhood story begins as guests arrive at one of two ground floor lobbies. Interpreting the winding stairs through topographic bands that wrap around the walls and ceiling of the space. An elevator ride to the lobby, 48 stories above opens onto a space inspired by a junction in the old neighbourhood where an old tree’s branches created a sense of arrival and communal interaction akin to a village square. The Hotel lobby is an interlude along the journey, with a sculptural ceiling enveloping the space below with majestic views over the city. The lobby level combines a bar and neighbourhood cafe where the guest can meander around the social realm of the hotel in spaces that evoke the vernacular of the Eighteen Stairs through art, decor and iconography.
The promenade from the lobby level to the room floors, transports the guest to the diplomatic enclave know as Zhongshan 4th Road in which three historical mansions are abstracted through narratives conveyed through different guest rooms or suite designs. In the first guest room, inspired by the "Zhou Mansion" a dialog between the communist and nationalist parties is celebrated through a design that enables the guest to see the room differently depending on the position of the viewer. Clandestine negotiations inspired by the “Zhang Xiang Mansion” influenced another room featuring the iconography of encoded telecommunications. A study of contrasts, the "Dai Mansion” inspired the hotel suites based on the the secret liaison of a special agent and his famous mistress know as “The Butterfly".