The PARKZOO Hotel is without a doubt a hotel about animals. Another masterpiece by Shanghai-based interior design studio X+Living, the Park Zoo Hotel is a departure from the typical family-friendly, animal-themed accommodation. In fact, the interior is designed to emulate an art exhibition, giving guests an elevated environment with minimal distractions to enjoy the animal-themed sculptures and installations. “We hope to mix the love for animals into the space, where people can, in the same way as watching an art exhibition, express all kinds of complexed feelings they have for the animals”, described the design team.
To create a setting that evokes the desired elegant temperament of an art gallery, the design team integrated visual cues in the form of lines, patterns, colours, and graphics layered over a minimal, white background. Throughout the hotel, Installations are strategically placed so guests can wander through the shared spaces within the hotel to explore the various art forms on display.
Carefully crafted depictions of animals in an assortment of vibrant colours can be found throughout, standing as sculptural art pieces and sometimes doubling as a functional furniture piece. For instance, the large red hippopotamus located at the hotel lobby may look like a complete sculpture from one side, but if you were to approach the other side, you will find a bench where a section of the sculpture has been hollowed-out. This innovative approach not only minimizes the furniture requirements of the space but also allows users to interact with the playful installations in a purposeful way.
Much of the installations were created with the purpose of integrating figurative and abstract art forms. The design team also paid close attention to the spatial arrangement within the space to drive participation and interaction between the artworks and guests. In the overall design, X+Living combined the animal theme to develop a variety of custom paintings and 3D wall installations that can be seen throughout the hotel, giving guests a vibrant and immersive stay that will be remembered for years to come.
Although the installations are intended to be open for interpretation, the design team described their inspiration behind some of their selections.
The hotel lounge features a 3D wall installation depicting a sea of colourful guns protruding out from the wall. However, only one of the guns protrudes completely, which is said to depict the target of people’s desires. In a separate wall installation within the hotel lobby, a wall lined with hundreds of protruding empty cans is a reminder of our consumption behaviour and the waste that was inevitably left behind that continues to impact our environment. These installations not only add visual aesthetics and a pop of colour to the hotel’s minimal interior but also acts as catalysts to spark dialogue between guests.
A large scale installation located in the hotel lobby utilizes the high-volume ceiling to create a hanging structure resembling Noah’s Ark. The abstract piece is shielded by a structural frame, and the piece can only be observed from a certain range beneath the installation. A singular tall ladder placed beside the hanging installation hints at the presence of something above, creating a mysterious allure that draws guests closer to take a peek. Finally, a mirror was installed on the ceiling to create an optical illusion that doubles the depth of the installation, giving the ark a complete look.
The animal theme continues into hotel guest rooms where you can find items like a playful orange flamingo sculpture that doubles as a functional lamp. Interesting patterns and textures add plenty of visual cues against a predominantly white backdrop, aligning with the art gallery concept of the hotel.
The PARKZOO is a wonderful example of a themed hotel that encompasses both grace and playfulness in an immensely competitive market. The design team didn’t simply create a series of adorable animal-shaped installations in order to attract attention. Instead, through this project, they wish to communicate a deeper message to their audience by presenting these animals in forms where they can be admired, respected, and appreciated. After all, isn’t this how we should treat animals in real life?
From: Pendulum Magazine
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 251 rooms & suites • hotel opened: December 2018 • interior design: X+LIVING (Shanghai) ✅ free parking at a location nearby • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk