ImpressionHabitatThe Sun Rises in Yanqi Lake

The Sun Rises in Yanqi Lake

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Architecture defines civilization. It tells stories of the past, present and future.

Today, China is the third most-visited country in the world. Tourism has grown significantly. The World Tourism Organization has even predicted that China will become the largest tourism destination in the next few years, so it’s not surprising that the economic powerhouse continues to build up its infrastructure and facilities to boost its growing tourism.

In Beijing alone, we have witnessed the construction of a number of the world’s most interesting architecture, including the CCTV Headquarters, “The Bird’s Nest” (A.K.A. Beijing National Stadium), “The Giant Egg” (National Centre for the Performing Arts) and “The Water Cube” (National Aquatics Centre). 

This year, prepare to be mesmerized by the latest work of the world’s greatest innovators today who have made this city a man-made architectural wonder: the Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing.  

Most Anticipated
The Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing, which is being developed on 14-square-kilometre grounds on the picturesque shores of Yanqi Lake, has won the “Most Anticipated New Hotel Opening of China in 2014” award at the prestigious 14th China Hotel Golden Horse Awards ceremony. The hotel’s location in Beijing, the political and economic capital of China and a top tourism destination, makes it a fitting candidate for a future G20 summit and other major events. This is Kempinski’s largest property in China and will open in the third quarter of 2014. 

The complex of Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing includes a Kempinski hotel which features 306 guestrooms and suites, and additional components that are also managed by Kempinski – namely, the State Guest House. The property features 111 rooms and suites, as well as 178 rooms and suites spread across 12 Boutique Hotels which are built on the private island within the complex. 

Scenic Property
Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing is a property that synonymous with value. 
The hotel boasts a calm and peaceful ambience of the picturesque Yanqi Lake and magnificent views of Yanshan Mountain and the Mutianyu Great Wall just 25km away. Forty-five km to the South is the Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing’s city centre at 60km away.

Yanqi Lake itself, which means “swans dwell on the lake” in Chinese, earned its name because of the flocks of rare migrant birds, especially geese, which inhabit the area in the spring and autumn. Spanning 65.78 hectares, Yanqi Lake is surrounded by a variety of trees including pines, poplars and willows; so imagine the beauty of the scenery. The lake draws multitudes of tourists every year. Meanwhile, the Mutianyu Great Wall, which forms the background to the hotel scenery, is a favorite historical and cultural attraction, and welcomed 2.79 million visitors in 2013. The combination of the hotel architecture and landscaping with the scenic environment becomes a statement of beauty where poetic moments take place.

The Creators
The Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel is designed by Zhang HaiAo and his team from Shanghai Huadu Architect Design Company. Zhang worked with a team of 60 designers from across the globe, including the UK, Italy, Spain, the US, Holland and the Philippines. The team spent 60 days developing the building design, and this cultural diversity was needed for an objective critique of contemporary Chinese architectural design. The architects and interior designers include DiLeonardo, Wilson Associates, Rockwell Group and Hirsch Bedner Associates. The architects and designers created a diversity of buildings on this lake, therefore no two are alike. 

The Rising Sun
The hotel compound is set on 47,678-square-metre grounds, and the building is 97 metres high with 21 floors. The top of the building reflects the color of the sky, while the middle of the building reflects the Yanshan Mountain, and the base reflects the lake. The exterior glass surface, covered by over 10,000 glass panels, spans 18,075 square metres.

Chinese cultural elements are used in the design details, and the hotel building is shaped like a scallop when viewed from the side. In Chinese culture, scallops represent ‘fortune’. The front view is rounded to emulate the “rising sun”, a symbol of China’s fast-developing economy and which, in Chinese lore symbolizes harmony, unity and infinity. 

The roof of Floor Three, where the main round building starts, is a free-form shape, like a cloud. The whole picture embraces the theme of “the cloud lifting the sun”.

In Chinese believe, mankind is an integral part of nature and in order to be harmonious, nature should be respected. So while designing the hotel the architects considered the connection between the main building and its environment. The hotel complex includes a private island, a vivid visual is created when the Yanqi Lake Kempinski is seen from Yanqi Island – an excellent vantage point for taking in sunrise and sunset. 

Sustainable Development
Environmental protection and sustainable development were main considerations in the hotel’s design. Construction involved the use of advanced environmental protection technology in terms of the materials and construction techniques used. 

The building’s rounded façade, for instance, was chosen because it would not interfere with the movement of the wind, which plays a key role in the healthy growth of plants. Within the building, all the glass panels are quadruple-layered, which is much more energy-saving than concrete walls and reduces energy consumption and hotel operational costs. 

The Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing is probably the first hotel in China which uses natural gas as its main source of fuel to supply heating and cooling. It is also the first hotel in China to use the Gas Power Generation System to reduce energy consumption. All hotel guestrooms have independent ventilation apart from the central air conditioning system to keep the air fresh within the building. 

With regards to air quality, the building is equipped with an indoor air quality monitoring system to ensure a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. Air quality in the underground garage is monitored by a CO concentration monitoring system and is equipped with an automatic start-stop fan. The system also monitors the air quality and air ratio in the public areas with a goal to improve indoor air quality and reduce energy consumption. 

As for sustainable energy sources, the hotel uses Photovoltaics (PV), which generates electrical power using solar panels by converting solar radiation into electricity. PV is applied to the building’s roof and exterior – and any part of the building that is exposed to sunlight. Additional electricity comes from green hydroelectric power. 

In deference to the landscape and architecture, the interior is largely inspired by the idea of framing the view – be it capturing the view of the landscape, framing areas within by enclosing a space, or setting a vignette of the interior décor. The interior is a total integration between art, architecture, and nature. The designers create seamless spaces that blur the lines between outside and inside—between what’s real and what’s not.  

The centerpiece of the hotel lobby is a custom-designed art feature. Set around the stunning staircase, the feature is composed of thousands of round glass spectrums hanging from the ceiling to the ground on stainless steel cables. Its design abstractly reflects the exterior outline of the mountainous landscape beyond Yanqi Lake. 

The Presidential Suite, refined yet subtle, muted and uncontrived, features contemporary flair and furniture. Jackson Pollock-style artworks adorn the walls of the suite, while large-scale abstract floral-embossed carpets are inlaid with the French walnut wood floors. The relaxed interior balances the serene exterior view of the lake and mountains.

The atrium which connects to the ballroom and meeting rooms is accented by a large-scale three-dimensional geometric feature wall with integrated lighting. Suspended above the atrium is a large-scale, Ruth Asawa-inspired, wire-sculpted lighting feature.

The hotel boasts luxurious facilities including a private marina, the Yanqi Pagoda, Kempsinki The Spa, swimming pools, recreational and fitness facilities, restaurants and bars, walking and cycling tracks, and water sport facilities. For meeting delegates and organizers, meeting facilities span 8,277 square metres at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Conference Centre.

The State Guest House, which is designed as a world culture gathering place, will be the home of VIP guests and government officials when they arrive.

Meanwhile, each of the 12 Boutique Hotels houses an indoor swimming pool, fully-equipped gymnasium, game room, library, meeting rooms and spa treatment rooms. 

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Yanqi Lake Kempinski Hotel Beijing