Combining Western Art with Eastern Aesthetics, Mix & Match Design at Palais de Chine
The French name “PALAIS de CHINE” refers to a palace (Palais) V.S. China (Chine),” which is itself a mix of Chinese and Western cultures. The design and decorations of Palais de Chine further reveal various kinds of mix & match design style. Be it the combination of Chinese and western decorations, the integration of traditional and modern elements, or the mixing of the simple and the glamorous, Palais de Chine presents a harmonious beauty through the mix-and-matching of decorative elements.
“Mix & match” has been established as a distinctive style for modern architecture and design. Using one consistent element throughout a project would inevitably cause a sense of repetition, rendering the design lacking in excitement. Whereas an appropriate combination of more than two elements can stimulate visual sensation and thoughts in the viewer. The so-called “Chinese-Western fusion” is the combination of scholarly Chinese elegance with noble European flair, or the emphasis of a disproportionate ratio of Chinese or western decorative features to create a brand new ambience.
Among the most popular hotels in the world, hotels such as HIP Hotel (Highly Individual Places / Avantgarde Hotels) and Boutique Hotels are all examples of the mix & match style to a degree.
Eastern Aesthetics Combine with Western Art for Complementary Design
The interior decoration of Palais de Chine adopts the minimalist aesthetic style of Song Dynasty, mixed with the relaxed Parisian lifestyle, the enlightened spirit of the Renaissance and the luxuriousness of Louis XIV of France–a collage of the old and the new.
Taking La Rotisserie, the western restaurant on the 6th floor for example, the designer used a large quantity of imported French furniture and accessories based on the western spatial layout. However, for decoration, he used Chinese elements to strengthen the Eastern connotation. The European antique imitation mirrors that make up the cloud-shaped ceilings encircle to form the shape of the Chinese character “品pin,” the second character in the Chinese name of Palais de Chine, Jun Pin 君品. The shape of the wine cabinet aside is also that of the character “品 pin.”
The main wall of the afternoon tea house, Le Thé, is made up of violet tea canisters that represent the nobility of the French emperors, while Chinese blue and white porcelains create a historical effect. The application of the feature of “removable window” in Chinese architecture, which supports the movement of windows from the bottom to the top to increase the transmission of air and light, endows Le Thé with a glimmering atmosphere.
Entering through the magnificent wooden doors from the check-in lobby into Long Hall, the design inherits the style of European castles while the delicate golden bronze doornails on the door represent Chinese architectural elements. Other than Serving as adornments, such feudal Chinese symbols, which can be seen everywhere in the Forbidden City in China are also exquisite representation of the integration of western and Chinese architectural art.
Mix-and-Matching Diversified Materials Brings Design Elements into Full Play
The Chinese-western fusion also applies to materials. The Louis XIV antique shelves made by unicorn horns in the 6th floor reception area in Palais de Chine always draw attention, while the stone wall behind the reception table was made into piles with stone slices cut from the imported original stone, creating a majestic atmosphere similar to European castles.
The marble tabletop in the Western restaurant “Le Rotisserie” had undergone special processing to exhibit the weathered texture in a timeless, classic fashion. It reveals a natural simplicity, combining a nostalgic romantic sentiment with the need for dining ambience in our modern life.
Antique imitation mirrors have almost become a patented trademark at Palais de Chine. In fact, this design had been visited antique markets in Paris specifically for sourcing these mirrors. After returning to Taiwan, the designer asked craftsmen to wash away the mercury on some parts of the mirrors using acid etching, to create the magnificent and mottled beauty that signifies the passing of time.
Furthermore, the antique-like wooden floors reflect a touch of the Renaissance style. The designer asked carpenters to apply a special liquid solution on the flooring that speeds up the aging of the wood to create a timeworn look. As for the tabletop of the hotel reception, the modern texture of the elegant leather matches the weathered feel of the bronze, achieving an aesthetic that grows more “new” with time.
The artistic beauty of eastern and western cultures each has its charm. A hotel with cultural depth and vision is by extension a demonstration of art from these cultures, a goal that Palais de Chine has set to pursue. The opening of Palais de Chine thus announces the arrival of Taiwan’s first five-star hotel with a rich foundation in art and culture on the global stage.