The Place, like its name, brands itself as a hotel that creates a unique visitor experienced that embodies the specific identity of each place. For each assignment, our goal is to seek out the secret of the location to create a unique design that strengthens the distinct identity of the context.
By contrasting old and new, mixing of west and east, the hotel becomes a contemporary interpretation of a traditional art form. For the interior design of The Place hotel in Taipei’s Nangang District, Mecanoo drew inspiration from the local tea production tradition. The tea industry has contributed to shaping the area’s landscape and history and is part of what makes Nangang unique.
The local Pouchong tea became the springboard for Mecanoo’s design of The Place in Nangan. The hotel is located on the 10th to 20th floors of a mixed-use building. Visitors pass through a ground-floor lobby and arrive at the 10th floor check-in / lounge / dining area, which functions like a Taiwanese tea house. Traditionally, these tea houses are social spaces, not unlike European cafes and bars.
Likewise, The Place’s welcoming lobby allows guests to check in, work, rest, dine and socialise. These services are “highlighted” in a contemporary bright blue linear element, creating a strong contrast with the warm oak walls. This element contains a buffet counter, flexible stepped seating, and several one-step self-check-in points. Social spaces should have an energetic buzz without becoming overcrowded; depending on the time of day, the size of the lobby can be flexibly adjusted with a system of curtains. In the conference room, a historic photograph of boats transporting tea is reinterpreted for the region’s technology-focussed development.
While the lobby is a tea house, the hotel corridors and rooms embody the tea production process. The corridor carpet pattern evokes the terraced tea plantation landscape. Stepping into the rooms, the chevron wood floor pattern echoes the woven bamboo baskets for drying tea leaves. The colour palette is natural wood with Pouchong tea-coloured accents.
The compact hotels rooms vary between 20 m2 and 43 m2. They are flexible and efficient. The Place is primarily a business hotel, with guests coming for trade fairs and shows. Storage space and computer working stations are therefore conveniently provided. There are seven types of rooms, each with a compact layout and designed to appear as spacious as possible.
To this end, fixed elements are integrated into one box: the bathroom, wardrobe, a place for luggage, a mini bar and a standing workplace. Others are mobile elements: rotating round table, work from bed or chair. Above the standing workplace is a pegboard that provides an assortment of “working tools” for the guests’ stay: chargers, stationary, speakers, tea, cups, and airplants.