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HOTEL REVIEW


BELOW: The top third of the Guangzhou International Finance Center is shaped like a triangular doughnut RIGHT: The hotel lobby combines classic elegance with refined luxury PREVIOUS PAGE: The atrium is dominated by a three-metre red sculpture by Australian artist Matthew Harding FOLLOWING PAGE: Kumoi Japanese restaurant and bar features modern bespoke lighting and contemporary artwork


led hotelier with a younger market of guests in their thirties and forties. That informed many parts of the design.” The 103-storey mixed-use skyscraper


features a strong architectural statement, articulated through a series of crisscrossing angled columns that run all the way up the tower. “These tapering 1.2-metre columns were a challenge on every floor,” says Carr. “What to do with them became a labour of love. We reconciled and arranged elements around them, giving them a lacquer finish so that they could fade into the background.” As the columns were up against the full-height glazing, furniture and fixtures were positioned away from the perimeter and oriented towards the view in guestrooms. Many items, such as the flatscreen television and sofa, became


freestanding floating sculptural items. In keeping with its running theme of ‘dragon and cloud’, HBA used a cream and grey carpet with ethereal wisps that contrasted with the Italian lacquered furniture. Dragon motifs, meanwhile, are present in door handles and cabinets. Guest bathrooms include white fixtures against a background of burgundy marble that feature dramatic veins to instill a sense of movement. Starting from the premier room category, bathrooms also include a sculptural egg-shaped bathtub that becomes the focal point of each space. The interior of IFC’s top third is shaped


like a triangular doughnut. Express lifts take guests from the ground floor lobby to the 70th floor sky reception where the space is dominated by a three-metre red steel sculpture by Australian artist Matthew Harding. Above


068 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013 WWW.SLEEPERMAGAZINE.COM


its curving form, the lobby opens to reveal a 33-storey atrium, tapering gently at the top to a skylight with a helicopter pad on one side. HBA played up the architectural elements by highlighting the balustrades, transforming the space into a giant gem. “We felt a need to trace the lines of the atrium with synthetic lighting,” says Carr. “A lot of time was spent working out the geometry, every piece of glass was hand measured on the balustrade. It was completely bespoke.” At the very top is the hotel’s signature restaurant Catch, designed by Hong Kong’s Steve Leung Designers. Here, a cantilevered vertigo-inducing staircase in the shape of a sharp elbow connects it to the floor below. “It’s a great talking point,” admits Carr. “The staircase underscores the sense of thrill and risk; it was designed to disturb and challenge.”


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