Waldorf Astoria — Beijing, China
In order to maintain its position as the most dramatic-looking hotel in Beijing’s bustling Wangfujing district, architecture firms AS+GG and RTKL designed the Waldorf Astoria with a striking bronze exterior that will change colour over the years. Inside, esteemed design firm Yabu Pushelberg has created a space that feels like a discreet mansion. As well as an impressive collection of contemporary art, the interior houses 171 spacious guest rooms that follow a modern Western layout with Chinese design touches, such as silk-panelled walls and oriental rugs on wooden floors. As a reference to the past, two new traditional style courtyard residences designed by Ma Bingjian, the director of the Beijing Ancient Architecture Design Institute, have been built in the historical alleyway behind the main tower. Connected to the hotel via an underground passage, and to be opened later this year, both ’Hutong Villas’ have four rooms, one of which is also home to a swimming pool and 16-seat cinema.