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Soothing Sanctuary

Fuzhou, the capital of southeastern China’s Fujian province, has a history that dates back more than 2,200 years. Global architectural interior design firm Wilson Associates capitalized on the city’s past to create a spa-like sanctuary when it designed the guestrooms for Coli Hotel Fuzhou, a 207-key property scheduled to open in Q4 2021.

“We wanted an experience that subtly engaged the guest at every level,” said Susan Isaac, design director/principal at Wilson Associates’ Singapore office. “Each design element of the interior space—with its architectural and soft finishes—were collectively and meticulously incorporated with nods to the city, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Fuzhou.”

The concept for the guestrooms begins with guest corridors, named “The Alley.”

“This serves as the beginning of a wonderful journey whereby the corridors and elevator lobby reinterpret the Fuzhou-style architectural roofs and historic stone pavements in a modern and contemporary way,” Isaac said. “The Alley experience incorporates beautiful layers such as the modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese bird cage with a decorative hand-blown glass dome showcasing imitations of native birds perched on a golden tree branch, which were collected and loved by many of the locals.”

The guestooms—or “The Studio”—furthers this concept, starting with a personalized wooden sculpture of a bird perched on a ledge as you enter the doorway, which was designed and curated to hold personalized handwritten messages for guests in its beak.

“The overall concept was deeply inspired by Sanfang Qixiang’s unique architecture—especially the feature wall above the headboard which recreated patterns and curved elements representing the traditional horse-saddle roofs in historic Fuzhou,” Isaac said.

The Studio also features locally inspired design elements that are incorporated into the modern furniture, whimsical artwork, contemporary lighting fixtures, and magazine racks combined with moveable table lamps; all add to the charm and the experience of a modern Fuzhou.

The foyer offers an adjustable cubicle that doubles as wardrobe storage and a minibar. Adjacent to the foyer is the guest bathroom, which has floor-to-ceiling tiles and a freestanding vanity countertop. The neutral color palette combines with warm metallic finishes to create a spa-like presence.

Overall, Isaac said, “The room is modern and reflective. All the design elements are well balanced; the overall envelope is finished in a neutral color palette with generous subtle accent colors in perfect balance with warm metallic finishes, creating a relaxing, spa-like calmness, a zenith cocoon that allows your imagination and senses to curate an individualized experience.”

Wilson Associates’ Singapore studio was also commissioned to design Coli Hotel Fuzhou’s lobby, serviced apartment lobby area, all-day dining venue, specialty restaurant, Chinese dining establishment, grand ballroom, board room, meeting room, health club, and other public areas.