Part of the Aman Resorts collection of hotels, Amanyangyun was named Hotel of the Year at the AHEAD Asia Awards 2019, which celebrated the best in hotel and resort design across the continent.
The project was the big winner of the night, also winning the Guestrooms, Hotel Conversion and Visual Identity categories.
The resort was designed by Kerry Hill Architects as part of a restoration of a 2,000-year-old forest. The project also involved the preservation of several antique buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties that were salvaged from their original site in Jiangxi province, to avoid demolition to make way for a new dam.
In total, 10,000 Camphor trees and 50 historic buildings were transported 600 kilometres to a site on the outskirts of Shanghai.
“It was a mammoth task,” Goenka said.
The antique structures were carefully dismantled and rebuilt on the new site to supply the main structures of the hotel.
“The antique houses as well as the Camphor trees had to be woven into the masterplan,” Goenka added.
The restored buildings comprise the hotel’s 24 guest rooms, 43 villas and public spaces.
Goenka told Dezeen that the inclusion of restored buildings turned the resort into a museum of Chinese culture and heritage.
“Amanyangyun is a living museum, not just because of the antique houses but also the guest experience,” he said.
The hotel includes a cultural centre offering guests an education in Chinese cultural activities.
“Guests can learn calligraphy or they can become part of an incense ceremony,” Goenka said. “There are tea rooms and exhibition spaces.”
“The client wanted Amanyangyun to be designed in such a way that it showcases China’s culture and way of life.”
The layout of the hotel is based on the concept of “a walled village” consisting of several courtyards surrounded by guest rooms, a common Chinese housing typology.
“The organisation of the contemporary guest rooms around internal courtyards comes from traditional Chinese architecture,” Goenka expained.
“Guests move from one courtyard to another as part of their progression from arrival to their villas or the hotel,” he continued. “Each of these courtyards has a distinct character reminiscent of the courtyard houses and the villages in the Jiangxi provinces.”
Kerry Hill passed away in August of 2018, nearly a year after he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2017 AHEAD Asia Awards for his work on hotels and resorts across the region.
This movie was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD. It was filmed at Andaz Singapore. Images are courtesy of Amanyangyun.
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