Neri and Hu : the globalized architecture
Neri and Hu, founded by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu in 2004, is a diversified architectural design research office based in Shanghai, China. Neri and Hu design provides international architectural, interior, overall planning, graphic and product design services. The company’s current projects are distributed in many different countries, with employees from all over the world. Different cultural backgrounds form Neri and Hu design team. The harmonization of these differences is what enhances Neri and Hu design concept: to create a new architectural example drawing on the concept of globalization.
There are unique reasons for locating Neri and Hu studio in Shanghai. Shanghai is a leading city in the world. Lyndon and Rossana integrate the cultural, urban and historical background of Shanghai and takes it as a starting point for the development of the architectural design. At present, architectural related issues tend to go beyond the boundaries of traditional design.
Neri and Hu’s newest project was given life in Taipei, Taiwan. The Kimpton Da An Hotel is thought as an inner sanctuary with plenty of spaces for meditation. Although the hotel has been designed by Neri and Hu to offer respite from the city, its urban surroundings are referenced frequently throughout the interior.
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Guests arrive at the 7,500-square-metre hotel in the ground floor lobby where there is a reception lounge wrapped with glossy white tiles, a material that typically clads the city’s buildings and shopfronts. A large void in the lobby ceiling creates a dramatic double-height atrium space where a contemporary chandelier is hung. Other more intimate lounge areas populate the rest of the lobby space, some of which face windows that frame views of the garden outdoors.
The metalwork across the hotel’s exterior takes inspiration from what Neri and Hu describe as the “layers of craftsmanship” found on the intricate windows and facades in the surrounding neighborhood.
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“The challenge for Kimpton Da An was how to convert a residential building into a hotel due to the idiosyncrasies of the plan,” the Neri and Hu added.”Enclosed in between the thresholds, this space offers a momentary retreat – an introverted space for contemplation. “The walls are punctuated with arched doorways, forming a series of interconnected eating areas. This arrangement is also meant to mimic an enfilade – a suite of rooms that are formally aligned with each other.
Neri and Hu always believes that research is a powerful tool for design, because each project has its own background. A careful and in-depth study of planning, operation, location, function, and history is an indispensable element in the creation of rigorous works. Based on the research, Neri and Hu is committed to the active interaction between architecture and experience, details, materials, shapes and lights, rather than simply following the stereotyped style. The ultimate success of each project is reflected through the significance of the appearance image of the building itself.
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