The Temple House, Chengdu
On the face of it, the town should be an encumbrance, with its weather being famously grey and dull for most of the year. However, you can’t help but feel attached to the city and its relaxed nature, especially with the opening of The Temple House – the latest addition to the Swire Hotels portfolio. Hamish Kilburn writes…
Capital of Sichuan Province, which is known as the ‘Heavenly State’, Chengdu is full of adventure. It is most famous for the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding as the place is a natural habitat for a large proportion of Giant pandas in the world.
Recently the self-effacing city has seen an economy boom and has become one of China’s new high-tech hubs. With plans to transformation the skyline of Chengdu with innovative architecture a new hotel opens. The Temple House runs on the idea of parallels between traditional and contemporary design. Customary Chinese architecture is reflected in the modern hotel, which sets it aside from anywhere else in the world – sometimes opposites attract.
The Temple House prides itself on blending into its surroundings. However, after walking through the traditional grand entrance and down the majestic staircase, guests notice a modern flare to a temple-inspired hotel. Two L-shaped buildings accommodate guests and create a new level of character to a modern-luxury hotel situated in a historic city.
Perhaps it’s the theme of simple luxury that makes this property a difficult one to leave. Designed by Make Architects and managed by Swire Hotels, 100 guestrooms are in one of the L-shaped buildings, while the other contains 42 adjoining serviced apartments. Both buildings stand between a beautiful and well-nourished courtyard garden, reminding guests of a traditional Chinese temple.
Combining modern design with traditional Chengdu architecture, the three-dimensional woven façade includes elements of brick and stones.
The Temple House is an integral component of the Chengdu Daci Temple Cultural and Commercial Complex comprising six historic buildings. The beautifully restored Qing Dynasty, framed by bamboo trees, is now a decorative entrance to the hotel. Modern architecture is introduced subtly. A large swimming pool’s ceiling reflects that of the grand staircase that initially welcomes guests.
Rich in Chengdu culture
The silk-producing Chengdu region is famous for its brocade weaves. The hotel’s city-facing façade replicates the brocade pattern with intricate fretwork interweaving brass elements within the brickwork.
As well as this, the terraced farmlands surrounding The Temple House is also reflected in the property’s architecture. For example, the striking staircase connecting the reception area to the courtyard resembles Sichuan’s steep hillsides, while the courtyard’s undulating landscape itself imitates the region’s rolling rice fields.
The ambition for the hotel was to keep with the project’s location and preserve its context. Katy Ghahremani, Make’s Lead Architect explains, “We have reflected the hotel’s heritage location by incorporating the original building into the design and introducing local themes such as terraced fields. It’s important to create a sense of place but also to integrate the design into the local community – so as to not to isolate it from its context.” Time and effort has been spent to meticulously carve this theme into the hotel and create the perfect balance of style and tradition.
The temple House is as beautiful as the town of Chengdu itself and pays homage to its heritage throughout, while creating a truly individual building. AvroKO designed all the f&b spaces including an Italian restaurant, signature bar and all-day dining cafe. In Jing bar lighting plays a dominant role. Playful yet sophisticated, upside-down lamps hang over the bar, while a large but tall chandelier lights the dark green booths.
The property has been fitted with modern design to make guests’ stay calming and convenient – IPods have been replaced with Internet Protocol TV, which is available throughout all of the hotels room, suites and apartments.
The hotel rooms start with Studio 60, a generous 63-square-metres wide deluxe room. Although the smallest that the hotel offers, the room boasts light open space. Providing a tranquil retreat, the theme of blending contemporary design with custom details provides guests with a comfortable king-size bed and a spa-inspired bathroom.
Other studios available follow a similar leitmotif. Studio 70 and Studio 90 are – as the name suggests – larger, more superior studios that offer more living space. With bespoke furniture, soft furnishings in natural materials and a private balcony, Studio 90 is able to breath out over its natural setting.
Various different suites are available at the hotel. From 90 square metres to the voluptuous 287 square-metre penthouse – all are complete with living quarters, generous king-size beds and natural colour palate with stunning interiors, which again reflect The Temple House’s location.
Resting on the 11th and 12th floor above the humming of the city below, the Chengdu penthouse has arguably the best view in town. Spacious, light and sequestered from the rest of the property, vast windows open onto a large private terrace.
Sometimes opposites attracts, this is certainly the case for this hotel, which boldly combines the convenience of 21st-century technology into temple-inspired building. Now fully open in the heart of Chengdu, The Temple House is an individualised hotel that offers a unique experience to all its guests staying in a beautiful piece of modern Chinese architecture.