thomas heatherwick: sheung wan hotel, hong kong thomas heatherwick: sheung wan hotel, hong kong
aug 01, 2012

thomas heatherwick: sheung wan hotel, hong kong

‘sheung wan hotel’ by thomas heatherwick

designed by british architect thomas heatherwick, sheung wan hotel is a forty-storey hotel for the sheung wan district of hong kong, an area known for its distinct smell of seafood hanging and piled high in shop fronts.

unlike other hotel projects which usually consist of reconstructing new interiors within existing buildings, these accommodations have been conceived from scratch whereby the interior and exterior of the structure are connected physically as well as aesthetically.

the concrete construction is composed of many metal boxes – of four different sizes – manufactured using folded-metal technology, a process typically used for making air conditioning ducts and water tanks. heatherwick has employed this geometric element as a means of interpreting familiar objects found in a hotel room – bed, windo, mini-bar, safe and a place to keep the iron. within each suite, the furniture and fittings are composed of a different arrangement of square components. on the interior, boxes are lined with bronze and coated with rigid insulation foam or upholstered to make beds or seats. the projected facade itself continues the use of this stacked element, made-up of thousands of these boxes, offering a textural edifice that relates to the current streetscape, different from the typical sleek, smooth surfaces found on new developments.

rendering of the hotel

the facade of the building is composed of thousands of boxes offering a textural edifice

multiple boxes of four different sizes are used to form the overall construction of the building

interior view from which the boxes making up the facade are made into seats or beds

conceptual sketch

  • c’est n’importe quoi / it makes no sense

    philippe says:
  • I lived in that area, it make no sense and no reflect in that area cluture, that area used to be a sea port

    uncledj says:
  • Safdie meets Holl

    dbkii says:
  • It is ostentatious, exuberant, and wonderful. I think of Gaudi and Gehry. And the interiors the exterior make possible are warm and inviting, even cave-like.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • it’s completely the wrong scale for the facade design, too hectic

    Caz says:
  • Mountaineers will love it!

    gavox says:
  • It looks apocalyptic to me. ..after being exposed to strong air pollution.

    It would be good for climbing like gavox said. Maybe Patagonia will have an office there.


    Jim C. says:
  • many birds will make their nests on this facade:)

    tkozodaev says:
  • concept is cool but agree with tkozodaev that birds will have their nests there… besides birds how do they keep the facade clean? hong kong is extremely dirty and dusty….

    amanda says:
  • if that doesn’t start leaking within a year, I’m a monkey’s uncle

    beta says:
  • i love this! HK skyline is so boring and uninteresting this will be a unique building and welcome addition. however form should always meet function and the architects should take note of the comments made here. how will the building be functionally cleaned on a month to month basis?

    orangeblowfish says:
  • what the hell are you doing mr. ……., c’mon be serious

    lou says:
  • I’m almost sure they made the model with sugar cubes

    H-J says:
  • I hope its only a concept.

    OC says:
  • This looks like a second year studio project about surface texture, bas relief and pattern. Where is the big idea other than, say re-styling a hotel’s facade?

    Big Jim says:
  • orangeblowfish thinks HK skyline is so boring and uninteresting?!?!?
    Hong Kong has one of the best skylines in the world with many well designed skyscrapers and buildings. The views on both sides of the Victoria Harbour are world famous. It is far from boring and uninteresting!

    And I agree with most of the comments here. Interesting concept but that\’s about it.

    Love HK says:
  • I agree with Love HK. Hong Kong is one of the best skylines I have ever seen. The design seems to reflect the buildings directly adjacent to it. Look at the first image, the buildings in the distance, with their deep set balconies and windows, can be seen in the variations in the surface.

    kevin says:
  • i am usually a fan. but this time, heatherwick can do so better than this. It doesn’t add to anything spatially inside and the exterior looks like a elementary grasshopper exercise.

    HK says:
  • please let it get built there is nothing else comparable

    isor says:

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