CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
Shanghai | Art & Culture | HotelJanuary 11, 2012

Reaching for the Stars

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One day  Japanese real estate  mogul Minoru Mori was looking at the sky from his renowned  Roppongi Hills  complex over a cup of green tea. Among the crowded stars he reached out for God with the following plea: " Dear God, now that I have recently built the  in the city of Shanghai, the SWFC , world's tallest building with the help of Petersen Fox design team , I would like now with your permission to create the world's best hotel; what would be your grace's auspicious suggestions?"

Surprised with such a request , God searched for the majestic 101 story construction and found it raising over  a noisy and crowded  Lujianzui financial district of Pudong  overlooking a beautiful but polluted  view of the Huangpu  River separating the intriguing city of 18 million into two distinct frenzy  and dusty centers.

After a few days of reflections God replies to mogul Mori with the following sentence: " Go and find a New York based American- Chinese Interior designer  named Tony Chi. He will cast your dream  from the 79 to the 93 floor into a 174 room island where you'll be able to create more than any of  your visitors will ever need... But remember!  You must follow some rules. If you agree to abide , you'll be successful and all your  requests will come true. Go now find that man and come back to me , i will show you the way"

Mori was very pleased with the conversation with God but  slightly concerned about the hotel rules, after all the investment was quite substantial as the record -shattering blue colored glass tower also known as ' The Vertical Complex City"  will be a corporate power on it's own .

But with award-winning design expert Tony Chi at his side , Mori got more comfortable in the next conversation with the sky.

' Rule number 1-  God's starts - One should never forget  it's origins.

The city of Shanghai developed  in a speed I don' necessarily approve of overwhelming the natural surrounding of ancient cabbage fields ;  your job is to re-create an eco-friendly and sophisticated modern Chinese residence that you will design with respect to traditional Chinese geometry and architecture, while providing all the comforts of a stately home  and an spiritual sanctuary of silence where  inner recollection and meditation are the core essence of human existence."

Tai Chi  will  be practiced daily for  Yn and Yang  balance,  and a courtyard will be a must to play chess and congregate. The element of water and beauty will surround everyone and delicious healthy food will  be a blessing if consumed within in a serene and simple atmosphere overlooking the  hectic city life. " Five years later due to the Japan economical slow-down, the hotel is ready to receive its's guests. Among those. Me.

It's very early in the morning and quite cold. As we approach along a bamboo lined driveway,  our car stops in front of a dramatic 16-meters high enhance gateblue tower but I certainly cannot see the top from where I am. A few young men and women dressed in grey think coats with a furred details  greet me and lead me to a series of gates, halls and chambers and galleries displaying contemporary Chinese Art , leading to an elevator ' cabin' which disk me up to a giddy 87 floor  to the reception chamber. It's a long distance trip.

Looking directly onto Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower, and The Bund still illuminated in the early dark morning,  the reception floors adopts a unique residential-style approach.

I am invited to sit in a tranquil Living Room filled with books and authentic Chines works of art and  offered Westerns and Chinese  comfort food and tea while my check in takes place.

Silence is around me, I am certainly going to get some sleep before breakfast....God, thank you I am in the sky!

Joelle's Picks:

The Hotel: Park Hyatt Shanghai Hotel

The designers:  Tony Chi

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