Hot Springs Resort, Suzhou

Capturing the essences of a World Heritage Site

The site of the new hotel resort is located along the banks of the Yang Cheng lake three kilometres north of the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. The resort is set adjacent to the UNESCO world heritage site of Suzhou. Known for the scenic beauty of its canals, water village architecture, bridges and its classical gardens, our design approach was to capture the essence of this unique city, by reinterpreting the local vernacular style to meet modern day needs whilst being respectful to its context.

Our observations were that similar to the planning of Suzhou, the spaces between each of the buildings are as important than the buildings themselves. We wanted to distill the essence of this, creating a world class Resort that blends both traditional Chinese planning principles of courtyard spaces establishing privacy with a sense of intimacy and nostalgia in a contemporary manner.

Our planning principle was to create a series of village spaces that embrace the best of what the lake and the site offers. We designed with the guest experience as the core design driver, from the main entry to their hotel rooms and villas to their dining and highly exclusive spa experience. The masterplan is configured to offer a segregated experience between public interaction and private accommodation providing clear yet subtle divisions between the more energetic areas of the hotel foyer and bars and restaurants from the quieter residential neighbourhoods. The main hotel lobby, and supporting facilities are set the eastern side the site separated by a featured canal waterways allowing for separation from public to private areas, VIP villas and spa areas.

LOCATION Suzhou, China

YEAR 2021