VUE: A new way to see hospitality design and Chinese luxury The VUE Hotel brand exemplifies the new wave of locally-rooted boutique hospitality experiences, a global cultural phenomenon now finding roots in China. “VUE” in French means “view” or “a way to see” and VUE hotels aspire to present a fresh way of “seeing” hospitality design and experiences. VUE’s DNA up-ends conventional Chinese notions of hospitality and is defined by 4 core pillars: 1. Encourages Socializing; 2. Transcendence of Culture; 3. Delightful & Whimsical; 4. Relaxed & Inviting. We believe the VUE brand provides a welcome counter-point to the Chinese traditional luxury hotel or the 5-star chain hotel. In the short time it’s been open, the response has been positive, with the Chinese (or china based) consumer now more open minded and receptive to other definitions of high-end lifestyle experiences; specifically, they look for authenticity and innovation. Each bespoke VUE property will draw richly from the culture of its neighborhood, yet always transcending it with a contemporary and surprising twist. Unapologetically modern in its approach, the brand embodies the desires of the urbane traveler; creating comfortable and inviting social spaces that are paired with intriguing art and innovative cuisine. With expansion planned for multiple properties in key cities across China, the VUE Hotel brand is pioneered by WuHai, CEO of VUE Hotels, (founder of the Crystal Orange Hotel) and created by MOD; our studio is responsible for the holistic strategy, branding and all aspects of design & art creation. VUE Houhai Beijing is a member of Design Hotels, a curated selection of over 290 independent hotels in more than 60 countries. Each Design Hotels property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design, and architecture. Being a member demonstrates that VUE has met its rigorous standards for providing an individual and service-driven experience. VUE: A new way to see Hou Hai neighbourhood VUE Hotel’s first flagship property is located in Beijing, in the Hutong district next to Hou Hai lake; in fact VUE guests have a special side entrance to enter the Lake area directly for a morning stroll to join Beijing residents in a spot of tai-chi, listen to er-hu practice sessions alongside birds singing, or rent a bicycle for a ride around the lake. Undertaken as a major adaptive-reuse exercise, the hotel comprises a series of artistically transformed quasi-historic buildings from the 1950’s. This intriguing hotel compound invites you to explore its many facets where you will discover a series of landscaped gardens, a bakery café fronting the bustle of the Hutong streets, a signature restaurant in an old warehouse, a rooftop bar overlooking the lake, a gym and over 80 rooms and suites, several with private gardens or with views overlooking the park or lake. Designed around a central narrative inspired by its locale, VUE Houhai drew inspiration from the lake and its animal inhabitants. In our imaginings, the presence of VUE has a magical transformative effect on the animals. These foxes, rabbits, deer are transformed anthropomorphically to become more human-like and in doing so, they begin to cultivate a sense of curiosity of the world around them and like “tourists”, start exploring the attractions around the lake and iconic historic sites around Beijing. These art installations dotted throughout the compound add an additional experiential layer that leaves guests smiling. It was a challenge to produce these complex and large 3D sculptures. For instance, the wire frame ones were over 5m tall and required additional structural bracing to the roof to support it. VUE: A new way to see Adaptive Reuse The existing site comprises 6 disparate quasi-historic buildings from the 50’s designed with traditional Chinese vernacular details such as decorative roof eaves & gargoyles. Firstly, we united the buildings & interiors by applying a visual baseline throughout the compound: the traditional “cracked ice-ray” pattern commonly used in Chinese lattice screens were abstracted and applied to the interiors and landscape. Secondly, the buildings were made to conceptually “fade into the background” by draping them over with a charcoal grey coat of paint, upon which key architectural details were highlighted in a gold patina. This treatment suggests an informal “cataloguing” of key architectural details, bringing into focus the distinction between the historical and contemporary. It was challenging for the client to understand the value and nature of this new approach but after some discussion, they green-lit it and became excited by its uniqueness.