Heatherwick Studio, established by British designer Thomas Heatherwick (now best known for designing the Olympic Cauldron for London 2012), was asked to design a forty-story hotel with 300 rooms in Hong Kong.
The project called for the Sheung Wan Hotel to be built from scratch, which was an opportunity for the studio to conceive the inside and the outside at the same time. They decided to interpret the familiar objects found in a hotel room (bed, window, mini-bar, safe, and a place to keep the iron) as a series of boxes, of four different sizes. In each unique room, all the furniture and fittings are formed from a different arrangement of these boxes. They are lined with bronze and sprayed directly with rigid insulation foam or upholstered to make beds and seats.
The building’s external façade is composed from the outside surfaces of these thousands of boxes, which are manufactured with the folded-metal technology used to make air conditioning ducts and water tanks. The boxes protrude to different extents, giving the hotel a very different architectural texture from the smooth, shiny frontages normally seen on new buildings.
Click through to see pictures of the hotel design: