Designed by global design giant Wilson Associates, Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, in the Lujiazui business hub, captures the essence of Shanghai’s golden age: the 1920’s and 30’s Art Deco period of international trade and culture. Intensely contemporary, yet small and flexible in scale, each space reflects a cutting-edge design platform unlike anything Four Seasons has delivered before. The hotel, residing in the 55-story 21st Century Tower, includes 172 guestrooms and 15 suites, a unique executive lounge, meeting and convention venues, as well as a signature FLARE spa and health club.
Cedric Jaccard, Wilson Associates Executive Creative Director commented, “The Wilson Associates team was challenged to reveal a culturally relevant design aesthetic that strongly reflects and respects Shanghai’s rich international history.” Capturing the spirit of each destination is core to the firms’ design philosophy. “We implemented a rich color palette of Shanghai’s rouge, glossy black and textured grey hues to go with smoky glass and metallic accents for a traditional, yet luxurious Shanghainese atmosphere that is both old and new,” continued Jaccard.
Upon entry into the dramatic lobby space, guests will be in awe of the grand spiral staircase designed to be very sculptural in form. Clad in high gloss with an underbelly of vibrant maccasar ebony, the elegant stair unites the upper and lower floors. Japanese talent, Studio Sawada Design, was commissioned to bring a major suspended sculpture to life which floats overhead and is composed of 1,000 intricate leafed metal strips. As natural light takes form, the sculpture endures a color changing pattern creating a wowing entry impression.
Inspired by 1920’s Art Deco style and sophistication, the guestrooms and suites employ clean-lined, yet luxurious colors and textures. With a 6-meter wide window bay, Wilson’s designers were challenged to optimize the unusual proportion in the room’s layout, while executing intricate detailing. With blackout curtains electronically controlled within the architectural mullions, a second layer of symmetrical sliding panels inset with silk sheers diffuses light into the room, while optimizing views to Pudong’s skyline.
An oversized desk dressed in supple, hand-stitched red leather gives a punch of accent and color for the working business traveler. This bold play is then softened with plush, grey-toned carpeting with a color and pattern that variegates from light to dark, subtly defining working and sleeping zones. The seamless space takes form as the headboard is revealed as an integral part of the wall backdrop, including rounded and square edges.
In the bath, the design team played on the idea of hard and soft effects with a combination of marble surfaces in both French vanilla and strong veined grey-black. This is again counterbalanced with a custom wall and glass panel color that mimics the timeless aura of Coco Chanel’s iconic perfume, while just overhead is a dark black ceiling finished in high gloss to create, ironically, a greater sense of height and volume.
The 19,000 sq. ft. FLARE Spa, covering the whole 41st floor, promises a very special metropolitan getaway where one can renew, regenerate and indulge. An “urban nature” approach takes form with timber and slate finishes throughout. Luxurious treatment rooms include two plush VIP spa suites with a whirlpool and rain shower for two, while the 18-meter indoor lap pool is ensconced in tinted jade stone that radiates a cool and captivating green glow. To create a sense of movement and drama, an LED screen displaying video art anchors the end of the infinity-edged swimming pool, creating an iconic and ever-changing visual impact. Oversized day beds mixed with sleek lounge chairs emphasize the casual, residential feel.
Jaccard adds, “The Four Seasons name resonates with a commitment to quality, service and expectation. After a three-year hold on this project, we were pleased our original design remained true to our original aesthetic and still awed the new client. My associates and I infused an incredible amount of creativity and detail in the hotel, with a groundbreaking final design product never seen before in any Four Seasons property to date.”
Wilson Associates’ design and FF&E team included Zie Mohktar, Betty Chew, Ika Phoa, Antonette Pineda, Valerie Soon, Wendy Kho, Ferdinand Balatbat and Marilyn Santos; and project managers Jord Figee, Jason Tan, and Winson Yong. Wilson’s team collaborated closely with many contributing professionals including Gensler, Lightsource, St. Legere Design International Ltd., SM&W, ARUP, and Magnusson Klemencic.
Overall, the design challenge to match the cultural interplay of Shanghai, while capturing the city’s artistry was achieved in a smart and stylish manner. At the Four Seasons Pudong, incredible possibilities come to life as luxury is reborn as an alluring new enclave in the heart of Shanghai’s business district. The hotel is currently taking reservations with a soft opening scheduled for this month.
About Wilson Associates
Specializing in interior architectural design, Wilson Associates was founded in 1971 and today employs more than 300 professionals in their headquarters in Dallas and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and an associate office in Cochin, India. Blending experience, innovation and solid business principles, Wilson Associates continually sets the design standard at some of the world’s most well-known addresses. The firm creates interiors for world-class hotels, restaurants, clubs, casinos and high-end residential projects, offering a full range of design services, from space planning to furniture installation, including custom product design. Wilson Associates is consistently ranked as one of the top two firms in the hospitality design industry worldwide.
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