Amanyangyun resort by Kerry Hill Architects designed to be “a living museum”

Amanyangyun hotel is designed to celebrate Chinese culture says Tanuj Goenka, director of Kerry Hill Architects, in this movie produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD awards.

Part of the Aman Resorts collection of hotels, Amanyangyun was named Hotel of the Year at the AHEAD Asia Awards 2019, which celebrated the best in hotel and resort design across the continent.

The project was the big winner of the night, also winning the Guestrooms, Hotel Conversion and Visual Identity categories.

The Amanyangyun won the award for Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Asia awards
Amanyangyun won Hotel of the Year at the AHEAD Asia 2019 awards

The resort was designed by Kerry Hill Architects as part of a restoration of a 2,000-year-old forest. The project also involved the preservation of several antique buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties that were salvaged from their original site in Jiangxi province, to avoid demolition to make way for a new dam.

In total, 10,000 Camphor trees and 50 historic buildings were transported 600 kilometres to a site on the outskirts of Shanghai.

“It was a mammoth task,” Goenka said.

The Amanyangyun won the award for Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Asia awards
Kerry Hill Architects restored 50 antique houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties

The antique structures were carefully dismantled and rebuilt on the new site to supply the main structures of the hotel.

“The antique houses as well as the Camphor trees had to be woven into the masterplan,” Goenka added.

The restored buildings comprise the hotel’s 24 guest rooms, 43 villas and public spaces.

The Amanyangyun won the award for Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Asia awards
The antique houses were transported 600 kilometres from their original site

Goenka told Dezeen that the inclusion of restored buildings turned the resort into a museum of Chinese culture and heritage.

“Amanyangyun is a living museum, not just because of the antique houses but also the guest experience,” he said.

The hotel includes a cultural centre offering guests an education in Chinese cultural activities.

“Guests can learn calligraphy or they can become part of an incense ceremony,” Goenka said. “There are tea rooms and exhibition spaces.”

“The client wanted Amanyangyun to be designed in such a way that it showcases China’s culture and way of life.”

The Amanyangyun won the award for Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Asia awards
A cultural centre offers calligraphy courses, as well as tea and incense ceremonies

The layout of the hotel is based on the concept of “a walled village” consisting of several courtyards surrounded by guest rooms, a common Chinese housing typology.

“The organisation of the contemporary guest rooms around internal courtyards comes from traditional Chinese architecture,” Goenka expained.

“Guests move from one courtyard to another as part of their progression from arrival to their villas or the hotel,” he continued. “Each of these courtyards has a distinct character reminiscent of the courtyard houses and the villages in the Jiangxi provinces.”

The Amanyangyun won the award for Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Asia awards
The design follows the traditions of Chinese courtyard houses

Kerry Hill passed away in August of 2018, nearly a year after he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2017 AHEAD Asia Awards for his work on hotels and resorts across the region.

This movie was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD. It was filmed at Andaz Singapore. Images are courtesy of Amanyangyun.

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