The Opposite House
In traditional Chinese siheyuan, or courtyard architecture, an opposite house is a guest house that sits directly across from the primary residence, typically facing north. Today in Sanlitun Village, a dynamic new community of restaurants and shops in the heart of Beijing, guests will find a new Opposite House, a gleaming emerald cube that also suggests contrast, a juxtaposition of ancient with modern.
Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (whose previous work includes a striking stand-alone Bamboo House at the Commune by the Great Wall Kempinski), the Opposite House is a feat of contemporary engineering.
The main focal point of the hotel is its cavernous central atrium, or courtyard, that’s lined with ascending hotel rooms. It’s also draped with huge swathes of white metal mesh, a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese drapes.
Strikingly, the entire ground floor doubles as a contemporary gallery, featuring ten of Beijing’s best-known artists, as well as a changing schedule of exhibitions. Among the first pieces on display were Li Xiao Feng’s human forms in cracked blue-and-white porcelain, and a PVC dragon robe by Wang Jin.
Unlike many hotels in Beijing (which tend to opt for an abundance of smaller rooms), the Opposite Hotel has fewer and larger: 98 contemporary studios and one penthouse suite, with open-plan design, high ceilings and abundant natural light.
Rooms are clean and bright, with slate walls, blonde woods and bamboos, contemporary furniture in geometric lines, and occasional antique items that provide traditional accents. Additional features include under-floor heating, deep oak bathtubs and rain showers.
If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, the hotel also boasts a vast two-floor penthouse, with indoor/outdoor areas, connected by a shallow reflecting pool, and its own kitchen.
The hotel also features a stainless steel swimming pool with fiber-optic lighting, as well as three restaurants and two bars, designed by Shanghai’s Neri & Hu Design.
An impressive feat. RM