The brief for Urban Post Hotel in Foshan, China, was a result of the client's - Director of A.J. Mason Group, Jazon Sze - wish for a hotel that "brought together many of the things he personally wished to find in the various cities he travelled to."
"He wanted to combine historical locations with a feeling of a designer home, but also include full amenities and services for a business traveller," say the designers at Shanghai-based practice A00 Architecture
Jason was very much interested in story telling, and wanted the space to have strong links to the local context by choosing locations that are embedded into the local history. At the same time, the aim was to combine a modern aesthetic with distinct traces of a vintage story line, reminiscent of early 20th century exploration and innovation.
Originally conceived as something for an ‘Urban Cowboy’, the concept settled into Urban Post, where ‘Post’ plays on both a place to station yourself and get rest, as well as the idea of postage/postal service and the whole concept of travelling that was associated with post and mail.
Since this was to be the first of future Urban Post Hotels, the designers were able "to play a bit with each room, looking to create something very particular and unique in each of them. This makes staying here a new experience each time, rather than having four identical styles. The whole project was really a designer's dream since part of our brief was to ‘explore’ what the concept could become, and we went with that!"
Exploring the hotel, you first see a home. "It is a place that invites you to come again, invite a friend, relax," say the designers. "The central staircase is definitely a main element in the space that unites the four floors and is full of light, purposefully muted and more rough in look.
"It contrasts with the general warmth that pervades most of the hotel where we went with mostly oak. We knew we wanted a less refined look, and this comes through with the rougher finishes: the rough-cut stonework, reclaimed woods which we left as natural as possible, and raw concrete walls. But it's still luxurious in the details and amenities."