Colossal antique doors and glimpses of soft flickering light from the lobby are the first things guests see as they enter Silks Place Tainan hotel in Taiwan.
The central lobby itself features solid wood panels with patterns derived from traditional windows that were once common in grand houses.
Black granite flooring, which mimics the terrazzo popularly found in historical civil houses in Taiwan, shimmers under the light.
On arrival, guests are welcomed with a traditional southern Chinese tea service. There’s also a study at the end of the lobby stocked with books and antiques, an invocation of the ancient Chinese saying “golden palace found in the knowledge of books”. Displayed like a museum collection, it’s meant to invoke an imagery of a place where scholars from the past would gather to discuss and debate, and work on their poetry and calligraphy.
At Silks Place Tainan, the present and the past harmoniously co-exist. The hotel has 259 guestrooms and a multi-functional banquet hall with an 8 metre high ceiling. Influenced by “The Joy Luck Club,” the hall features thousands of multi-colored LED clouds and is capable of accommodating up to 100 tables, a perfect place to hold the kind of Taiwanese-style weddings preferred by Tainan locals.
The design of the guestroom is inspired – in both the materials used and room setting – by the Taiwanese family homes of yesteryear. Accents of terracotta can be found among the white and grey cement walls. Each room contains specially designed pendant lights, the design of which was inspired by Chinese calligraphy.
This project, a recent recipient of the 2014 Golden Pin Design Award, aims to thoughtfully bring traditional Chinese architecture to the fore and showcase the decorative elements of ancient Chinese arts and crafts, but in a fresh and modern way.
Rich Honor Design Group