Cheng Chung Design blends the natural world with the built environment, to create an interior that emphasises the sense of architecture.
19 April, 2023
Nestled above the flowing river and touching the vast sky, this 673-square-metre apartment boasts an extraordinary location. Joining Hangzhou Arch, one of the seven “Big Dipper” towers, the design of Focus Hangzhou apartment adds to the city skyline among the iconic cluster of buildings taking shape on the bank of the Qiantang River.
“Urban landmarks are not so much about a name, but more about a pattern, a kind of power and grandeur, and a poetic lifestyle that integrates Eastern artistic conception with Western form,” says Joe Cheng of Cheng Chung Design who was responsible for the design.
To this end, Cheng’s vision for Focus Hangzhou seeks to blend the natural world with the built environment, creating a seamless and harmonious composition. The open plan removes any visual barriers between the foyer, living room, and study, fusing formality and aesthetics to create a holistic space that echoes the flowing river.
Drawing inspiration from the city’s landmarks, such as the Hangzhou Grand Theatre and Hangzhou International Convention Centre, situated across the Qiantang River, the interior design emphasises the sense of architecture within the space. As such, structural blocks, streamlined window frames, and an orderly circulation route define the interior space. These elements form a counterpoint to the 30 meters of floor-to-ceiling glazing and 270-degree view of the natural landscape that effectively envelops the interior.
The living room area posits an expansive and open design, complemented by a play of light and shadow, irregularly shaped sofas, and a semi-circular floor lamp that pushes scale. Here, the golden tones of the spherical International Convention Centre opposite are subtly introduced via textural rugs, soft furnishings, copper cabinetry, furniture detailing and a curated scattering of brass and copper art and objects (WOWU Art Consultancy.) A bespoke sculptural form comprising a rounded monolithic fire surround, frames the view of the buildings on the riverbank.
Also enjoying the view is the extraordinary bathroom of black marble floors and fluted white marble walls. Central to this design is a large round bath with views to the distant mountains. A small tree occupies the silent space of the corner to balance and bring nature into the bathing experience.
There is a degree of opulence to this project that is rarely seen in conjunction with exemplar architectural flow. Fulcrumed by a central foyer, the plan rotates outwards as a series of grandly scaled spaces, that have each been interrupted to bring a human scale and sense of comfort to each room. The master walk-in closet for example is the size of a small apartment, yet the design breaks the space into an intimate environment in much the same way a small designer jewellery store would. Here a central case displays jewellery and accessories, while each bag, hat and pair of shoes has a tailored location in the bespoke cabinetry. The guest bedrooms are similarly made intimate through the introduction of a lounge and different arrangements of bathing options.
Among the most significant Chinese design firms, CCD shifts with ease between hospitality, residential and commercial. Focus Hangzhou, while residential, sits within the splendour of grand hotel design where comfort, luxury and that extraordinary view have been coalesced to deliver a home of intimate spaces and quite moments.
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