The symbolic China Rose flower, often considered Queen of the Tropics, is the main inspiration for Shanghai-based architectural office Neri & Hu's design of the brand new 28-storey luxury hotel, Le Méridien Zhengzhou. Located in the second largest city in inland China, Zhengzhou, capital of the Henan province, is a historical wonderland providing ample opportunity for a project incorporating tradition and modernity piecemeal. The hotel overall is a reflection of a compelling juxtaposition of rich cultural elements with contemporary art, interweaving the local environment to a global crowd.
Envisioned to be the latest lifestyle hub, Le Méridien Zhengzhou L Zhengzhou houses 350 guest rooms and suites. The interiors of the rooms are saturated in rich earthy palettes, have a lot of sitting and work areas, and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for plenty of sunshine and gorgeous city views. Luxury facilities in the hotel include a spa, high-tech fitness center, swimming pool, Zhengzhou's only indoor jogging track, conference rooms, dynamic restaurants and a significant amount of lounge space.
The architectural design of the hotel is especially noteworthy. To showcase Henan's myriad historical dimensions, the architects envisioned the building as an "archive" of the new and the timeless. Externally, the archives are concretized as stacked boxes clad in dark metal paneling, proportioned in a way to emphasize verticality. The sides of the boxes are textured with perforations depicting the motif of the symbolic China Rose flower. These perforations, at greater elevations, create branches on the facade of the building, eventually tapering into floral stems. The flower motif is not confined to the facade. The interior of the hotel has hints of it everywhere: stretches of perforated metal pattern, silk threads on rugs, and glass etchings.
As far as wall decor is concerned, Le Méridien Zhengzhou boasts of a wide array of art donning the walls as well as the lobby floor. For example, taking the most famous painting from Song dynasty, ‘A Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival’, artist Lee Lee Nam creatively used digital technology to transform this art piece into a four-season moving art installation. Many of the other works of art were commissioned to local artisans. In addition to the diversity of art, the gastronomic delights in the hotel are an important part of what makes this hotel so attractive for an extended stay. From authentic Chinese cuisine at Le Mei to international delights at Latest Recipe, one has plenty of options to choose from. And let's not forget Latitude 34, the stylish coffeehouse designed to spark creativity and facilitate conversation.
Conveniently located next to Asia's largest railway station, the Zhengzhou East Train Station, Le Méridien Zhengzhou is a piece of art in its own right, providing guests with a completely sensory hospitality experience.
Photography: Le Méridien Zhengzhou