BLINK Design Group, the internationally recognised award-winning design company that is reshaping the hospitality landscape and reimagining the luxury experience is pleased to unveil its design of the recently opened Andaz Xiamen. Striving to conceive world-class design that reflects and respects a true “sense of place”, the design narrative of Andaz Xiamen takes bountiful inspiration from the local tropical Nanyang style.
A Historical Narrative of Life in Xiamen
Andaz Xiamen tells a story of generations in Xiamen (Amoy) dating back to the year of 1932. It seems like it was only yesterday the melody of pianos brought a young boy called Gulangyu to life. As a child, he would playfully race down the streets lined with colonial architecture built with polished stones and beveled edges. Large canopy trees that framed the quiet streets provided much needed shade from sunny summer days. Apparent foreign influence from the booming international trades in this coastal town became part of everyday life. He often dreamed of a life exploring the unknown and trading in the furthest corners of the world.
Andaz Xiamen was created and conceptualised by BLINK Design Group following the acquisition of Jaya Ibrahim Design. With over a decade of experience and a portfolio of projects spanning five continents, BLINK Design Group envisioned the design of the hotel as a modern mansion and the city’s sobriquet as a ‘Garden by the Sea’ to reflect the rich historical tapestry as told over generations of this coastal town.
A Modern Mansion Reflecting the Tropical Nanyang Style
Located in the heart of Xiamen, Andaz Xiamen houses 304 elegant rooms, including 20 suites with separate living rooms enjoying vibrant views over the city. Andaz Xiamen also introduces a series of immersive dining and drinking venues that showcase the authentic local flavors inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes of the city at Andaz Lounge, No. 101 Chinese Restaurant, More Than Wine cocktail bar and the all-day European café and bar, Sugar Pavilion. The hotel captures an environment where old meets new and east meets west in every aspect of its detailing.
BLINK Design Group has created a deep sense of nostalgia of the tropical Nanyang style reinterpreted in the form of a modern mansion or “grand estate”.
“We are thrilled to showcase the design of Andaz Xiamen as we bring out the best of the vibrant local culture inspired by the city’s sobriquet as a ‘Garden by the Sea’ and the tropical Nanyang style” said Clint Nagata, Founder and Creative Partner of BLINK Design Group. “We reimagined a story of historical images that are translated into a modern manor full of adventures told via the permeating design narrative which weaves through different spaces and a collection of art accessories.”
The Design Journey
The visual journey begins at the hotel’s entrance gate which reflects the same sense of arrival which would take place in European manors with a magnanimous entrance gate constructed with subtle stone details on the façade that is elegantly paired with oversized modern glass doors. The design of the entrance is inspired by the native bird of Xiamen, the Dalmatian Pelican with the artwork realized using a traditional wood burning technique. The sheer panels form a modern interpretation of bougainvillea plant as found in the streets of Xiamen and Nanang.
As in typical local homes, Andaz Xiamen features high ceilings, repeated arched detailing and living spaces linked by walkways open to cooling tropical breezes. Throughout the hotel, an abundance of speckled terrazzo, timber louvres, tactile wicker and rattan and graphic tiling and carpeting create continuity between spaces and reinforce the Nanyang feel.
Ceilings have been inspired by pergolas and trellises to evoke an outdoor atmosphere and much of the artwork feature tropical flora and fauna. All the artwork at Andaz Xiamen is by artists either from Xiamen or with a strong connection to the city and the hotel will actively nurture local talent, offering a platform for emerging young artists.
Arches at the concierge area lead to the east and west hallway beyond, whilst floor patterns and modern terrazzo provide a hint of the old Nanyang era. The interiors of the hotel are elevated by the placement of individual art pieces by local artists inspired by the Xiamen scenery and landscapes along the corridors. A central lighting sculpture in the arrival lift lobby provides a spectacular and uplifting focal point reflecting the sentiments of the destination as a clever abstraction of bougainvillea plants over a water feature replicate blooming flowers in the Spring along the Xiamen coast.
Into The Heart of the Mansion
The design journey continues at the heart of this grand mansion within the light filled Artelier Lounge on the third floor which is decorated with accent shades of green throughout the lounge drawing a close connection to Xiamen as a lush coastal city. A collection of stylish contemporary rattan furniture was commissioned to pay homage to the Nanyang shop house dwellings of the 1970s.
A private library is tucked away in a corner of the lounge providing a solitary space yet with all the comfort of a private home. The different Peranakan floor patterns in this lounge have been composed based on influences from the individual shophouses in Nanyang and deliver a fresh twist and interpretation of old memories.
The Nanyang-inspired private spaces at Andaz Xiamen feature high ceilings typically found in tropical climates and natural textures and materials as evidenced with the application of woven bamboo wall paneling and timber louvres for a comfortable, relaxed feel.
Beyond the lounge, lies the tropical heated 25 meters swimming pool surrounded by a series of large canopy trees providing shade and thick vegetation similar to the streetscape of Gulangyu. Through its positioning adjacent to the pool house the area also acts as a versatile event space with clean lines of molding and modern flooring pattern inspired by a European manor.
BLINK Design Group
Founded in 2006, BLINK Design Group is an internationally recognised award-winning design company that is reshaping the hospitality landscape and reimagining the luxury experience. Dedicated to design, with the freedom to take imagination into conception, BLINK Design Group is a visionary design firm based in Asia, with over a decade of experience and portfolio of projects spanning five continents with collective expertise to define one vision.