Credit: Shao Feng

In the West Lake district of Hangzhou, China, this 18,000-square-metre project –completed in just three months– is both visually playful and socially responsible. Having a deep love for animals, Chinese architect Li Xiang –at the helm of architecture studio X+Living and furniture firm Xiang Casa– went wild to create the interior spaces of Parkzoo Xiangyan Hangzhou Hotel.

Photo: Shao Feng

The hotel occupies a 22-storey building designed in the ‘80s which had been rebuilt in 2007. The property features animal sculptures, installations, furniture and artworks. These artworks include the giant red 3D-printed hippopotamus and walrus that welcome guests in the double-height lobby, the playful orange flamingos that serve as lamps in the rooms and an oil painting of a zebra that makes the elevator ride interesting, just to name a few.

Photo: Shao Feng

“This is, without a doubt, a hotel about animals,” says Xiang. But the animals are not there just to catch your eye. The objective behind creating an almost art exhibition with the use of these bold elements is to raise awareness about the necessity of protecting endangered animals.

Giving new perspectives on how we see the world, as well as honouring and respecting life, are at the heart of Xiang’s creative concept. For example, The Production of Civet Coffee installation –which features a wall of cat butts– is the designer’s commentary on the production of kopi luwak, the infamous artisanal coffee from Indonesia brewed from coffee beans that have been digested by the luwak civets.

Photo: Shao Feng

The hotel’s mostly minimalist, black and white backdrop helps to highlight the different forms and tableaus that characterise the decor. Lines, patterns and bright colours were used throughout, inviting guests to interact with what surrounds them in a natural way. In the lobby, the hanging installation with a tall ladder and a mirror on the ceiling, which creates an optical illusion of infinite depth, evokes the scene from Noah’s Ark.

Photo: Shao Feng

Combining hyper aesthetic and functionality, realistic and abstract forms, and serving serious topics in a playful environment, Parkzoo Xiangyan Hangzhou Hotel goes beyond its role in making guests feel welcome. With its show-stopping interior design, it also draws attention to the importance of wildlife and environmental conservation. 

To learn more about the hotel, visit their website

Photos: Shao Feng