WATG’s interior design studio integrates contemporary and traditional elegance, inspired by one of China’s most famous paintings, in one of Beijing’s most anticipated new resort hotels.
Wimberly Interiors, the interior design studio of the global, industry-leading hospitality and destination design firm, WATG, has unveiled its designs of Yanbai Villa in Beijing, China. This new, highly anticipated landmark has been envisioned for guests in search of solace, a luxurious sanctuary of peace and immersive one-of-a-kind experiences, and supports Beijing’s ambition to serve as China’s hub of diplomacy and international exchange. The hotel’s striking interior design is a celebration of Chinese culture and heritage, sustainability and new luxury, and is inspired by the reimagination of A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains – one of China’s most famous paintings by 12th Century artist, Wang Ximeng.
Working alongside renowned Chinese architect and Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, Wimberly Interiors’ Singapore-based team studied Wang Ximeng’s unique ability to mimic three-dimensional forms within 2D paintings and took cues from the artist’s prevalent use of vivid blues and greens against an ochre background – an artistic style called blue-green Shan Shui. The interior designers also tapped into Wang Shu’s noteworthy transformation of materials from demolished buildings and landscapes into architectural masterpieces. Merging these two influences into a spectacular statement piece, the feature wall within Yanbai Villa’s reception lobby is a striking, tapestry-like mosaic of stones and tiles recycled from the original site that flows through the gallery and draws guests into a memorable arrival experience.
Reimagining ancient artistic techniques through a contemporary lens, Wimberly Interiors’ Singapore studio crafted an exclusive hospitality experience that not only brings the past into the modern day but also creates an immersive and luxurious sense of place, nestled in the surrounding landscape of dramatic mountains and soothing water. Unique perspectives are subtly yet intentionally integrated with the architecture and layered into the guest’s journey, creating visual contrast and depth through the use of materiality, scale, form and color – all grounded in nature.
“To ensure an all-encompassing sensory experience, each space is carefully curated through a balanced play of visuals, lighting, proportion, colour and textural contrasts,” said Deepu Mahboobani, Managing Principal in Wimberly Interiors’ Singapore studio. “Beckoning guests in, a grand wooden ceiling structure is suspended in the arrival area and connects the stunning outdoor setting to the dramatic interior. Then, as they continue from public spaces to their private retreats, guests will traverse winding corridors and encounter pleasant surprises as well as moments of contemplation, all capturing the essence of Yanbai Villa.”
Rooting the resort in an uncompromising yet approachable sense of modern sophistication, Wimberly Interiors’ designers utilized a design palette for each of Yanbai Villa’s public spaces and private guest rooms and suites that is simultaneously bold and understated. Furnishings are contemporary and never overpowering, upholstered in warm leather and fabrics. Decorative elements like starburst marquetry, handmade glazed tiles, and highly curated art make subtle appearances but are approached with refinement and elegance. Dim intimate lighting evokes a sense of mystery and softness, in contrast with the bold, geometric elements found throughout the hotel. In the lounges, elegant silk wall panelling and a large landscape painting – a reflection of the hotel’s breath-taking view of its expansive site – come together to create a warm, restful gathering space. And in the dining rooms, timber, marble, and glass are accented by brass and earthy tones, emphasizing the sophistication of simplicity and celebrating natural materials. The natural palette continues in the guestrooms, with brushed timber, textural granite tone, custom furniture, generous bathtubs, and, of course, breath-taking views.
Wimberly Interiors’ goal has been to invite guests into a unique experience that is unrivalled in the region as it embraces the notion of balance and peacefulness, where guests can feel at home, in harmony with the surrounding landscape. “Yanbai Villa’s design is not only a mark of respect for Wang Ximeng’s iconic masterpiece, it also represents our relentless commitment towards environmental conservation and crafting destinations well-suited for sustainable tourism as we pay respect to the resort’s stunning site and its native materials,” said Deepu. “The guest journey is filled with meaningful touch points that are locally sourced and thoughtfully made, and the innovative application of material, pattern and form bring together a dynamic visual effect that will leave a lasting impression.”