[photopress:commune1.jpg,full,alignright]It gives an idea of the importance of the China as a destination that The Guardian in England has run a major story by Sally Howard on just one hotel. That is the Commune which started as a showcase for modern architecture on the Great Wall and, as the article puts it:
. . . has evolved into one of Asia’s most exciting, and affordable, design hotels.
Chinese culture was always writ large in its architecture. The Great Wall and the traditional courtyard home both speak of a world view in which everything within the wall is ‘family’ and everything without ‘not-family’.
Set in 2,000 walnut-tree acres 40 miles north of Beijing, with its northern perimeter traced by a breathtaking stretch of unreconstructed Great Wall, The Commune is the vanity project of rags-to-riches Beijinger Zhang Xin.
[photopress:kempinski.jpg,full,alignright]Her intention was to create a global showcase for Asian architecture by hand-picking 12 prominent architects from across the continent and offering them $1 million each to design a dream home. The results are startling.
Enter hoteliers Kempinski, which took over management of the site in August 2005, tarted up the main properties, then kicked back into the sloping green valley with a rash of new builds based on favourites among the original designs. The Commune by The Great Wall Kempinski (try that with a mouthful of Beijing duck) launched properly this month.
The Commune now comprises 42 villas, which for the most part are cleverly executed, their acreages of glass window framing views of the sinuous north Chinese landscape.
For the best of these, try the original Cantilever house, with its wraparound views of The Great Wall, or lather up like a pet Ming concubine with a breath-catching view of one of the world’s wonders from the bathtub of Shared house. Kempinski has thrown the net a little wider with decor, with international design pieces (Newson, Starck, Mouille) sharing space with modern twists on traditional Asian design, such as beds based on the traditional Chinese risen platform.
She likes it.
Source: The Guardian