Nanxun Blossom Hill: Dariel Studio
Posted on July 10 2017
A luxury hotel and hidden gem, combining Western interior design with Asian tradition and values.
The Nanxun Blossom Hill is a beautiful boutique hotel, neatly hidden away within Huzhou, China. Recently renovated by Dariel Studio, this magical set of buildings and grounds have been transformed into a tranquil oasis, combining western design with the heritage and richness of the surrounding local life. Combining two incredibly different cultures and styles together, whilst staying true to traditional values is no easy task, another reason that makes the Nanxun Blossom Hill project an incredible design achievement. From the visually enchanting lounge spaces and communal areas to the calming gardens and suites, this is a hotel that covers the finest of details with elegance and grace.
In keeping with local culture and traditional buildings, the original bricks, wood and engravings were preserved and restored throughout. The partition boards are carved with traditional patterns representing “Fishing, woodcutting, farming and scholar”, the four occupations in Chinese agricultural society. A common theme amongst traditional paintings and creative work, Dariel wanted to stay true to these four areas of expertise, clearly defining them within his work and allowing them to feed his inspiration.
The dedication and understanding of the building's rich heritage have allowed Dariel to expose stories of the past, taking guests on a visual journey as they tour the grounds. One of these stories and references can be seen in the restaurant and lounge area above. The villa was originally built in 1930 by Liu Geng Gan, the richest person in Nanxun. Created as a place for him to collect and store books, it became known as "Hidden Book Town". With his vast fortune coming from the silk business, the studio used red and blue silk, in reference this, creating diving screens within the restaurant area. This silk was also used to create a series of artistic stripes, traveling from between columns and luring the eyes up and across as if you were searching amongst the many titles and covers of books.
The theme for the guest rooms has been inspired by the occupations in Chinese agricultural society. Divided into three style groups, each collection presents itself through a unique selection of colour, shape and decor found inside the rooms. "Farming" has been defined through the use of orange and layered textures that embrace the man made shapes of the land. "Gardening" has been represented through the use of green with a floral presence and hexagonal tile selection used within the bathrooms, inspired by the intricate levels of detail and perfection of traditional gardening. "Fishing" is presented in blue with fish scale latticework which has also been transferred to the bathroom with blue and white scale tiles.
I really have been blown away by the level of detail that has gone into this project. Dariel Studio has demonstrated their expertise to the highest degree, creating a boutique hotel that could quite comfortably sit amongst some of the trendiest hotels in a fashion capital as it does in this hidden paradise. There is an appreciation for tradition and it has been acknowledged and executed in such a gracious way, always complimenting and never overpowering the original and historical features of the building. Whilst so many hotels desperately try to imitate a new level of heritage, Nanxun Blossom Hill can sit comfortably knowing that they already have it.