In the context of Beijing’s busy modern city life, Read & Rest Boutique Hotel at its core is an attempt at promoting a quality lifestyle that is balanced between feeding one’s curiosity (Read) and bringing calmness to one’s senses (Rest).
Office Aio’s spatial design aims to prime one’s state of mind into a calm and leisurely state, pertinent for knowledge and inspirations to be absorbed and exchanged between rests.
Upon arrival, the façade is hollowed out to create a double-height retreat from busy street activities. A dramatic telescopic portal is designed to allow guests to slowly progress into the humble hotel entrance, across the intimate lobby, and into the library. Through this passage of scale and space the guests can let go of their sense of time and reach a state of enlightenment much like entering a utopian fairy tale.
The design creates a library with a central corridor and study alcoves shaping a space for peace and concentration through temperate repetition, rhythm, and symmetry. This sense of temperance is carried throughout the hotel with sparse planes, minimally sculpted spaces, muted color palette, and natural veins of timber and stone. Collectively, they form a holistic experience that helps soothe one’s senses, from public areas to all the guest rooms.
Like a “quiet nest”, the guest rooms are toned and textured in a light shade of warm grey plaster to enhance a sense of seclusion, where reflections of light are softened, mitigated, and accentuated with tones of warm brass and natural oak. The original large openings are kept and refitted with large panes of glass to frame the ever-so-intriguing hutong scenes, and to allow daylight to penetrate the rooms. Each window opening is coupled with a generous and continuous wooden ledge intending for one to unwind and enjoy reading.