An Urban Oasis

Designed by architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai has a modern design inspired by oriental culture and the hotel’s waterfront location. The experience is enhanced by the extensive collection of Chinese contemporary art displayed at the hotel, making it Shanghai’s best art destination.


Bernardo Fort-Brescia

Think Shanghai and the vision of bustling streets and an impressive skyline would cross your mind. Today, this city is not only the major science and technology, trade, financial and information center of China but is also a place of international cultural exchange and integration. It comes as no surprise then, that, Shanghai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and any hospitality major would find it lucrative to start operations in this dynamic city. The award winning Mandarin Oriental Group did just that with the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, a luxury hotel on the east bank of the Huangpu River, amidst the dramatic skyline of the Lujiazui financial district. The property takes its place within Harbour City, a new 25-hectare mixed-use development comprising office towers, residences, high-end retail and entertainment, plus extensive landscaped gardens and is next to the Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club.

The Mandarin Oriental roped in world-renowned US-based architect, Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica to design the hotel while some leading architecture and interior design firms from across the globe were instrumental in designing the restaurants and recreational areas. “The hotel occupies two of the collection of buildings in phase one of the Harbour City development. The whole complex was designed to maximize the benefits of its amazing waterfront location. The hotel is split into two towers; one containing the guest rooms and suites, the other serviced apartments. An important feature of the design is the positioning of the guest room tower where every single room has an unobstructed river view.

A touch of artful glamour meets you right at the lobby when the large-scale artwork by Miao Tong stretches before your eye. Called Nature and Mankind, the artwork depicts an ancient forest scene through colourful mosaic glass tiles.

The bulk of the hotel amenities, however, are located below a raised ground level in both the towers. This meant we could be freer with their layout to create a varied and interesting spatial arrangement for the public spaces, as well as the most efficient arrangement of the support facilities. Although the amenities are essentially below ground, we created a series of openings, skylights and sunken gardens to fill the spaces with daylight and views to green areas so that guests always feel a connection to the outside,” explains architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia.

The heart of the design or the crowning glory of the hotel are the impressive art collections, curated by the renowned Art Front Gallery, featuring 4,000 original artworks displayed throughout the public spaces and guestrooms. The collection showcases 50 world-renowned artists, including 18 highly prized contemporary artists from China. More than 3,500 pieces are just bespoke commissions for the hotel. The underlying theme of the art plans captures the Chinese spirit and showcase short stories in each artwork which is spread across on the various floors of the hotel. Each artwork expresses modern scene of natural beauty which will leave the visitors with a sense of calm and relaxation.

The Mandarin Cake Shop is designed like a boutique. It features light wood and stone and a open plan layout.

The vibrant interior design of the hotel reflects contemporary style with oriental essence and can be seen in all the public areas designed by Jiang & Associates Interior Designer Co LTD as well as BUZ Design from Hong Kong. Throughout the public areas and guestrooms, semi-opaque materials and soft colour palettes enhance the sense of spaciousness and serenity. The intimate lobby features customized Chinese screens, sculptured furnishings and warm bronze tones inspired by the glint of sunset on the river. The exquisite restaurants (Yong Yi Ting, Fifty 8º Grill, Zest), and The Mandarin Cake Shop are designed by Dash Design and Brand image of New York and Hong Kong. Each restaurant features a vibrant, interactive dining experience with open chef kitchens. Making the most of the peaceful waterfront location, all venues also step out to alfresco dining terraces or a sunken garden.

At Zest warm light bathes the restaurant from above, allowing the impressive selection of cooking stations throughout the restaurant to be the spotlight.

The Mandarin Cake Shop features a French artisan’s kitchen leading through to the Art Deco styled Fifty 8° Grill. Chinese restaurant Yong Yi Ting presents a dazzling contemporary take on traditional Oriental design rendered in granite, glass and chrome. Created by BUZ Design, Qi Bar is wrapped in intricate latticework and features a snakeskin upholstered bar and circular crystal chandelier. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai is designed by BUZ Design and takes the butterfly as its muse. A symbol of beauty and metamorphosis in Chinese culture, the graceful form of the butterfly is artistically rendered throughout The Spa. Sculptures and ceramic installations by Chinese artists Kang Qin, Shi Hai and Zhou Wu combined with natural oak, raw stone and mother-of-pearl, create an elegant ambience of wellness and rejuvenation. The meeting and events spaces also designed by BUZ Design set the scene for grand occasions and exclusive private events with a rich colour palette and abstract artworks by some of China’s leading contemporary artists, including Pan Wei and Ding Yi. The Grand Ballroom is truly impressive, with double-height ceilings adorned with linked rings of crystal chandeliers.

Shanghai’s largest and most expensive Presidential Suite spanning 788 square metres has two private sky garden terraces, and separate areas for dining, entertaining, meeting and resting. In addition, the 50 square metres bathroom includes a spacious two-metre jacuzzi and steam room, plus a private gym and spa treatment room. The hotel’s chefs are available to prepare private gourmet meals in the fully equipped kitchen, which features an unobtrusive staff entrance.

The 318 guestrooms and 44 suites fuse contemporary design and cutting-edge technology with the finest traditions of luxury. All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows which frame spectacular views of the Huangpu River and the signature skyline of the Lujiazui financial district. The contemporary design of the guestrooms has a subdued colour palette that exudes peace and tranquility. Interiors are richly appointed with plush rugs and natural hardwood floors. The guestroom floors feature a Silent Garden theme that exudes a haven of calm and relaxation in the heart of commercial Shanghai. Soft taupe furnishings with flourishes of indigo and lotus-green are offset with abstract ink paintings of traditional Chinese garden landscapes. The Presidential Suite spanning 788 square metres features 4.8-metre high ceilings, two private sky garden terraces, and separate areas for dining, entertaining, meeting and resting.

The bathroom at the Presidential Suite.

The Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai within a short span of operations which started mid 2013 has become the new luxury landmark for guests seeking the finest in service and facilities, as well as a riverfront destination for art connoisseurs. No wonder it is regarded as one of the best urban hotels in the world!


To create a luxury hotel reflecting modern design inspired from oriental culture and the hotel’s waterfront location.


Facade Glass Floor Hardwood, granite, marble Walls Paints, glass, wood paneling, veneer


Location Harbour City, Shanghai Principal architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica Interior design Jiang & Associates Interior Designer Co LTD and BUZ Design (for public areas); Dash Design and Brand Image (restaurants and shop)


Some more images…


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