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The Waterhouse at South Bund / Neri & Hu Design and Research Office

  • Architects: Neri & Hu Design and Research Office
  • Location: Maojiayuan Road No. 1-3, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200011
  • Design Team: Lyndon Neri, Rossana Hu, Debby Haepers, Cai Chun yan, Markus Stoecklein, Jane Wang
  • Structure Consultants: China Jingye Engineering Technology Company
  • Gross Square Footage: 2800 sqm
  • Area: 800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute, Tuomas Uusheimo, Derryck Menere

© Tuomas Uusheimo © Derryck Menere © Derryck Menere © Derryck Menere

From the architect. Located by the new Cool Docks development on the South Bund District of Shanghai, the Waterhouse is a four-story, 19-room boutique hotel built into an existing three-story Japanese Army headquarters building from the 1930’s. The boutique hotel fronts the Huangpu River and looks across at the gleaming Pudong skyline. The architectural concept behind Neri&Hu’s renovation rests on a clear contrast of what is old and new. The original concrete building has been restored while new additions built over the existing structure were made using Cor-Ten steel, reflecting the industrial past of this working dock by the Huangpu River. Neri&Hu’s structural addition, on the fourth floor, resonates with the industrial nature of the ships which pass through the river, providing an analogous contextual link to both history and local culture.

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute

Neri&Hu was also responsible for the design of the hotel’s interior, which is expressed through both a blurring and inversion of the interior and exterior, as well as between the public and private realms, creating a disorienting yet refreshing spatial experience for the hotel guest who longs for an unique five-star hospitality experience.

© Derryck Menere
© Derryck Menere

The public spaces allow one to peek into private rooms while the private spaces invite one to look out at the public arenas, such as the large vertical room window above the reception desk and the corridor windows overlooking the dining room. These visual connections of unexpected spaces not only bring an element of surprise, but also force the hotel guests to confront the local Shanghai urban condition where visual corridors and adjacencies in tight nong-tang’s define the unique spatial flavor of the city. 

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"The Waterhouse at South Bund / Neri & Hu Design and Research Office" 15 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/263158/the-waterhouse-at-south-bund-neri-hu/>