The new facade by von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects (gmp) imparts a lightness and a sculptural effect to the modernized hotel tower, which can be seen from afar. Its angled vertical elements and the alternating closed and glazed panels create a play of light and shadow. Horizontal ledges are inserted every two stories, thus creating a calm facade geometry with balanced proportions. In addition to the external envelope, gmp designed the multifunctional “Glasshouse” to add a venue with a special atmosphere to the hotel complex. Since its modernization and reopening in 2016, the 80-meter-high hotel tower is one of the popular destinations in the Sanlitun business quarter of Beijing. The former “Beijing City Hotel” was created in 1990 as China began to open up. The former appearance of the building and its scant relationship with the urban design context were a result of Beijing’s fast urbanization process. The design by gmp represents a contemporary and yet long-term functional hotel architecture that reestablishes the position of the tower in the urban context.
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