Shma completes landscape design of Neri & Hu’s hotel in Guangzhou

Set against the backdrop of the firm’s signature architecture, the garden features a series of undulating strips of silk-inspired lawns.

Landscape architecture firm Shma Company Limited recently finished the green design for the five-star Le Meridien hotel, completed in 2013 by Neri & Hu. Located at an urban intersection in the city of Zhengzhou, the approximately 6,000 square meters of landscaped area, being in a densely populated area, set out to achieve an interactive, imaginative and artistically crafted open space that would serve as a new landmark for the neighborhood while solving the lack of on-street parking and vehicular circulation.

Shma Company Limited, Le Meridien Garden, Zhengzhou, China, 2019. Foto Arch-Exist

Paying homage to the city’s historic textile industry, the studio created a sculptural design that weaves and folds to reveal an aesthetically pleasing public space in front of Le Meridien. A series of undulating strips of lawn represent silk being woven – up and down – into sheets of fabric by traditional machines. An intermediate space, on the other hand, is defined by the juxtaposition of atrium pillars and existing architectural orders to stitch the landscape and building into the overall plan, seamlessly integrated with the parking layout. The design is complemented by a sculpture and water element placed in front of the atrium delivery area, serving as a welcoming element.

Materially, two different colors were then used for the stainless steel finish of the planters to emphasize the unique public/private characteristics of the urban hotel. When viewed from the roadside, the planters reveal a bright bronze color that adds energy and playfulness to the design, signifying the importance of this urban corner. Therefore, a reflective black material was chosen to add a calmer layer when perceived from the side of the hotel, looking outward.

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