Hilton Jinan

Influenced by the springs of Jinan, the interior design of the Hilton Jinan delivers a stylish representation of fluidity and linear tactility of the water form. Traditional elements of the vernacular culture are incorporated into a holistic and urban space. Modern bespoke furniture pieces, signature artwork selections and tactile layering of details and finishes refine the hotel’s design expression.

Hilton Jinan is the first project where Wilson Associates partnered with parent company ArcPlus. Wilson Associates, led by Associate Principal Aldwin Ong, whom created the interior design and East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI) was the building’s architect. Together, they created an impactful property with the guests’ comfort in mind. Also involved in the highly collaborative project were Wilson Associates’ Singapore-based Art Consultancy studio, led by Art Director Sandra De Souza; and the firm’s food and beverage (F&B) specialty studio, Blueplate Studios, led by Design Director Dennis Tan. The hotel property thoughtfully incorporates original art, modern architecture, distinctive dining experiences and seamless technology into the design and guest experience.

Innovation in hospitality design is intimately tied to a succession of technological advances. The structure represents a duality in visionary design and inconspicuous technological amenities for a modern, seamless guest experience. The site is articulated into a delicately luxurious and yet understated hotel. It is formal and yet relaxed, as well as a bold and fresh representation of the Hilton hotel branding.

“The challenge in this project was holistically integrating our vision with Blueplate Studios’ distinctive restaurant outlets, with Arte’s engaging art installations, along with ArcPlus’ architectural detailing,” said Aldwin Ong, Associate Principal for the project. “We successfully created a holistic product by working very closely together in a truly collaborative partnership and monitoring every single detail to the very end.”

Hilton Jinan contains 316 spacious hotel rooms and 104 residential suites. Designers at Wilson Associates characterised each room type to be generously cozy, timelessly authentic and true to the design story, with no compromises to ergonomics and a guest’s modern lifestyle and expectations.

The hotel interior has a spatial advantage of vast, unobstructed double volumes in open areas such as lobbies and the all-day dining restaurant. On multiple levels, the volume of space is constantly mimicked with canopies of intrigue and metal screens to accentuate an effortless spatial transition between rooms. Various seating arrangements placed throughout the open lobbies are tastefully selected and configured to provide much-needed pockets of residential sanctuary to visitors. Decorative soft free-standing leather panels further layer these spaces with a nod to delicate stitching details and spring-inspired artwork, while concealing service doors and creating aesthetic anchoring backdrops to reception counters.

Walkways and breakout areas adjacent to meeting rooms are subtly integrated with an expansive functional hallway. Strategically situated between the ground floor lobby and meeting rooms, a spectacular spiraling staircase with cascading tear-drop glass pendants—all encased within the metal canopy—blurs the transition between the two zones and leads up to the pre-function area, which features captivating arrays of suspended screens and hanging glass sculptures.

The layout of each room is innovatively attuned to invoke the most gratifying experience for guests, all of whom visit with a variety of purposes. Great energies are expended beyond appearance and surfaces to create a luxurious and comfortable space: a bespoke signature mini-bar cabinet offers convenient refreshment, touch-sensor bedside wall sconces and specifically designed control panels present accessible technology in each room. Curvilinear architectural elements, such as soft leather bed headboards, offer a distinctive environment of minimalistic luxury and modern technological conveniences.

The exclusive and stylishly chic Executive Lounge located at level 34 beckons executive guests to relax and dine comfortably with a spectacular view distinctive to the hotel’s geological location. Hilton Jinan is positioned close to the city centre and High-Tech Zone, with breathtaking views of the landscaped islands of Daming Lake, Thousand Buddha Mountain and the many natural springs for which Jinan is known.

The design team was creative but practical, making sure to incorporate efficiency of guest services into the space planning, from maintenance and housekeeping to navigation throughout the hotel.

Associate Principal Aldwin Ong and his team created an architectural language with bold sense of scale, and delivered impeccable quality and characteristic elegance in a beautiful package. The interior architecture features sublime soft curves and an acute attention to details, revealed in the pairing of furniture and artwork, and in beautifully crafted floor lamps integrated with counters and signature furniture pieces—all holistically infusing focal points into every corner.

Most of the furniture, fixtures and equipment are modern, bespoke pieces that exude luxury with fresh, neutral warm materials. The palette of finishes is accentuated by bold navy blue hues to create a strong visual expression of the materials, finishes and textures.

Selected architectural finishes such as stone and wood are usually muted in colour, yet characteristically expressive with their textures. Gleaming metals were sparsely adopted as detailing elements to reward an occasional sparkle in the grandeur of the hotel spaces.

In an effort toward environmental conservation, the design team consciously introduced natural materials that were not categorised as exotic species, and worked in favour of the design directive and budget. With application of distinct detailing techniques, surfaces using understated materials were revitalised with subtle hints of extravagance.

The real stars of the hotel guest experience at Hilton Jinan are the distinctive dining environments, designed in collaboration with Wilson Associates’ Blueplate Studios, which is a niche studio specialising in F&B development. Three tastefully designed restaurants cater to distinctive cultural cuisines and dining habits.

JI Lounge, located at level 35, is creatively integrated alongside the Sky Lobby to present an extended exhibition of the voluminous architectural details. The lavish lounge treats guests checking in at the lobby to a view of casual activities. It is a space where guests can lounge with a book from the complimentary library and enjoy a signature afternoon tea with enticing pastries, or even relax at the lounge bar while basking in full view of the panoramic cityscape.

The hotel also includes a fitness level that contains an expansive indoor heated swimming pool and fully equipped gym with a sauna and steam rooms. A magnificent grand ballroom with a 12-metre-high ceiling is capable of hosting 600 guests. Many other facilities deliver a reputation befitting Hilton’s world-class standards, from the terrace garden to 10 meeting rooms, all capable of hosting a variety of events.

The design of the hotel also pays tribute to the renowned local springs with impressions of watery strokes throughout the hotel, evidenced in art installations and richly coloured plush carpets that emulate slow romantic drifts of fallen flowers in the springs.

Project Name: Hilton Jinan
Location: Jinan, China
Completion Date: September 2016
Gross Floor Area: 66,360 square metres
Number of Rooms/Units: 420 guest rooms
Building Height: 40 floors
Client/Owner: Luneng Group, Shadong Luneng Genfu Development Co., Ltd.
Interior Design Firm: Wilson Associates
Architecture Firm: East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI)
Principal Architect: Aldwin Ong (Associate Principal and Design Director, Wilson Associates)
Lighting Consultant: Grand Sight Design Intl. Ltd.
Kitchen Consultant: Angles + Curves
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: ECADI
Signage Design: ATG
Art Consultant: Arte (a Wilson Associates studio)
F&B: Blueplate Studios Singapore (a Wilson Associates studio)
Images/Photos: Hilton