The Sifang by Hirsch Bedner Associates: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Boutique Hotel

PROJECT NAME The Sifang
LOCATION Nanjing, China
FIRM Hirsch Bedner Associates

Conceived by Sottsass Associati a few years before the death of Ettore Sottsass himself, the splashy and colorful Artyzen Sifang Nanjing Recreation Centre was a pure example of the famed architect’s exuberant style. Construction had already been completed when the developer decided to turn the facility, with its quirkily irregular layout, into a boutique hotel, The Sifang, featuring a wellness spa for the body, mind, and soul. Challenged with transforming the building, Dubai-based Hirsch Bedner Associates partner David T’Kint began by reaffirming his respect for such recognizable and assertive architecture. Without changing the exterior shell, he devised a workable floor plan and developed a palette to extend yet mellow Sottsass’s color blocks. Soft textures and tones, which provide feelings of calmness and refuge, are accented with playful primaries, dabbed on door frames, furniture, and even bath fittings. Furniture is boldly contemporary, in distilled shapes; accessories contribute to a casual sensibility. “I reinterpret the essence of the language in the form of details, rug designs, and the like,” T’Kint says. In this way, he captures the master’s sensibility while still delivering spaces that are immaculate, comfortable, and preternaturally soothing.

Sottsass Associati designed the hotel building, distinguished by sandstone blocks and powder-coated aluminum panels. Photography by Will Pryce.
Planks of stained oak compose the spa’s reception desk. Photography by Will Pryce.
In a guest room, lacquered aluminum spheres support the glass top of a custom cocktail table. Photography by Will Pryce.
At the Artyzen Sifang Nanjing Recreation Centre, the lobby’s marble console stores the iPads used for check-in. Photography by Will Pryce.
Sconces in a suite bathroom are custom. Photography by Will Pryce.

Project Team: Eilyn Xin.

> See more from the December/January 2020 issue of Interior Design

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