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Place To Be: Ripple Hotel, Qiandao LakeArchitecture | Iconic Architecture

author Sephora Arthur Contributor

The meandering topography of the hedged Qiandao Lake permeated by a zillion scattered islands, had a profound impact on the metamorphosis of the Ripple hotel in Hangzhou. The secluded haven is an emblem of beauty, restoring the former consigned-to-oblivion architecture and lifestyle of the Chinese civilization.

The ripple effect

Lying beside a man-made lake, the hotel is a revelation of the local surrounds. Fragmented into 12 analogous structures,these conform to a rectilinear module grafted into the natural contours of the partially rocky terrain. The enchanting retreat besides its out of the ordinary core, owns some bewildering lookouts from see through fenestration of scenic mountain panoramas, lovelorn vistas of the Lake and its much talked about submerged city entrapment.

Von Gerkan Marg and partners from Hamburg Germany planned out and fashioned the outside fabric of the 2 storey villas in true Soho style of design. Two years down the line, with the ringing in of the year 2014, the hotel caught the eye of an extremely ambitious developer that culminated into a new phase in design transforming its embedded recesses. X+ Living, founded by principle architect Li Xiang from shanghai besides the cultural tie-in brought on board an environmentally focused drive with her hallmark of ingenious and enigmatic spaces. The entrance is a prelude to the myriad experiences a guest encounters in the concourse of an adventurous stay at the ripple hotel. Unexpected is the initial perception of an unconventional reception pivoted on a single monolith piece of solid wood, chiseled to perfect a canoe carved out counter. Play acting to be suspended on mid air, as visualized by the creative team of designers, the supports to the wooden concierge gets fastened at an intermediary level above the ground. Creating a diversion, garnering even more curiosity is a series of upright oars pierced into a slotted strip, mounted on a solid wood engineered floor integraly distinguishing the lounge from the foyer. The waiting is just as intriguing with its timber components putting up a partly unfinished, partly furnished exterior cushioned with every ounce of comfort on par with essential ergonomics.

Getting back to the old world-period style in design

A fine dining restaurant domineered by 4 seaters dressed in solid wood, share the burnt brown hardwood in continuity with the inlaid entrance flooring. An experience here will take you back to the retro period in architecture that was essentially characterized by art driven forms and stylized embellishments. Wall mounted pendant lights accentuate the periphery whilst dried tree relics underscore the tables in the central aisle.The parquet flooring in dusky browns compeer in hues and textures with the vicinal walls.

Bringing the unabridged outdoor decor in

The supernumerary coverlet of white in the hotel suffices as a canvas for the sun-tanned wooden and bamboo domineered materials. 

The solitude in solid wood and pearly white washes

The amiable, oval framed bed mounted on a sinuous wooden base in addition to the ingenious built-in partition is the only element of colour contained within the white cocooned shell. 

Pastels in beige and amber warm the day areas

The suites are drowned in chalky white walls with a comely entourage of light escaping onto the opulent wooden furnishing predominantly induced by the curvy anatomy of the getting under-your-skin outdoor landscape. The upholstery in soft peach, the far-flung accessories in chocolate brown and deep ambers bequeath a classic adorned interior. The deep penchant for unpolished exposed timber creations materialize through implanted artwork out of nothing more than salvaged dried up twigs, veneer claddings, accentuating interior facades, wrapped up storages and kitchen counters.


Almost feels like dining in the woods

The raw bamboo weaved ceilings are an overhead canopy of creative and imaginative artistry unearthing the flawless craft of the unruly masked services atop. Concealed within the crisscross patterned cane silhouette are flushed lights diffused into the nut brown netted ceiling holding tight to the reception and the restaurant.Suspended pendent lights in wickerwork endow an offbeat, old world vibe to most of the surreal homespun spaces.

Breaking the rigidity of conventional bathrooms

Blackened parquet flooring and wall facing relieve the run off-the-mill blues and green colours of traditional tiled bathrooms. Chrome plated faucets and matted american oak timber add-ons like ladder stand convertibles and side tables bring into being the cradled in-nature design impression.

A glimpse of luxury, personified in the local native style

With contemporary architecture reaching its zenith, designs getting bigger, better and even more complex to break down, it is here that we find solitude in the resurgence of a style that should never have been muted down. The art of story telling has been given new meaning in the world of design as conceived by Li Xiang and the Ripple hotel is one such narrative of a continuous streaming of forms, materials and spaces echoing perfect harmony.

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