With many people nowadays considering traveling to be lonely and stressful experiences, the newly opened CHAO aims to create a welcoming space for all travelers. Encased in a sleek and modern building with a beautiful glass facade, CHAO isn’t just a typical boutique hotel; the same space houses a clubhouse that’s focused around shared social experiences for both locals and out-of-town visitors alike. To turn their vision of this community-centric space into a reality, CHAO brought in the talented Chinese designer Wang Yenchih.
The brand name “CHAO” has the same pronunciation as the Chinese character for “nest.” Thus, the CHAO design team used the connection between different languages and cultures, making “nest” one of the core concepts for the overall design. The 180 rooms and five different areas of the hotel all revolve around the idea of animal nests, with single each space designed to be as cozy and as home-like as possible. Light is another one of the most central elements in the hotel’s overall design. By bringing in GD-Lighting Design, who has previously worked on high-profile projects like the Nanjing Youth Olympics Stadium, their emphasis on the importance of lighting is abundantly clear. Even before entering the hotel, their attentiveness to the effects of right lighting can be felt – a soothing yellow glow gently radiates from the first-floor window, beckoning visitors off the bustling Beijing streets and into the warmth of the hotel lobby.
Designed to be a diversified and multileveled space, CHAO’S narrow entrance gives way to a spacious atrium lobby. As one of the most important and visually striking areas of the hotel, the atrium has a central stairway that connects various areas of the hotel with one another. By incorporating design concepts and a light set up that’s more commonly seen in art galleries, they’ve broken all traditional boundaries. Overhead, the ceiling consists of densely arranged fabric, while the lighting arrangement behind the textile ceiling gives the fabrics the illusion of floating effortlessly. Per the intent of the design team, every element of this area harmoniously comes together to lend the atrium a post-modernist feel.
The restaurant area is designed to be atmospheric and emotional. The exposed ceiling of first floor bar lends a modern and industrial feel to the space, but still manages to retain a sense of luxury. The choice of lighting, from the candle-like luminaries to the large illuminated ceiling, doesn’t stray from the sophisticated elegance of the rest of the hotel, but was created while taking into consideration the intoxicated debauchery that will no doubt take place within the space.
The Sunlight Hall is described as the “most chic” area of the hotel. The walls here extend upwards, bending towards one another before finally meeting overhead at a curved angle. The space is meant to be airy and open, and the diffused light that illuminates the space serves to reinforce the feeling of openness. In terms of functionality, the Sunlight Hall is meant to offer a wide range of uses, from private events to art exhibitions.
By understanding the importance of light and masterfully using it to compliment the architecture and interior decor, the designers behind CHAO have created one of the innovative spaces in Beijing, a space that’s more than just a generic hotel for transient businessmen and tourists. The clubhouse concept is an extension of CHAO’s ambitious vision; they see it as a space filled with unlimited possibilities, a social haven where like-minded locals can meet up, and a welcoming destination for out-of-town visitors where they can easily connect with the local community.
Worker’s Stadium East Road 4
Beijing, Chaoyang District
People’s Republic of China