Inside China’s futuristic glowing orb hotel

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    The Sunrise Kempinski hotel was designed to look like a sun rising over the Yanqi lake. (Source: Kempinski)

Could this be China’s coolest place to say, amidst a string of architecturally astounding hotels?

The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel –designed to look like the sun rising over Yanqi Lake –will open its doors next month.

Just an hour outside of Beijing, the luxury hotel took 24 months to build. Despite the upwards of 10,000 glass panels covering the external surface, it was constructed to withstand a level 8 earthquake. The exterior angles are angled to catch the sunlight, and at night the orb glows from the light of hydroelectric-powered LED lights.

The Sunrise Kempinski has 21 floors and 306 guest rooms and suites, several meeting rooms, recreational and fitness facilities and a number of restaurants and bars.

The structure of the hotel was designed by Zhang Hai Ao from Shanghai-based Huadu architect design company, while the interior was designed by U.S.-based firm DiLeonardo Design, reports DesignBoom.

According to Kempinski, in addition to the main hotel, there are an additional 111 rooms at the nearby Yanqi Hotel on Yanqi Island, and another 178 among 12 boutique hotels on a private island nearby.

The architecture of the hotel is not traditional by Eastern standards, however there are many classic Chinese elements that can be seen from different angles.

The entrance is shaped like the mouth of a fish, symbolizing prosperity. Viewed from the side, the building appears to be in the shape of a scallop, representing fortune in Chinese culture. The panels are angled to enable the top of the building to reflect the color of the sky; the middle portion reflects the nearby Yanshan Mountain and the bottom reflects the Yanqi Lake.

In addition to the architecture, the new luxury property will be a welcome addition to the landscape for the millions of tourists who visit Yanqi Lake every year. Home to the Mutianyu Great Wall –a cultural and historical attraction that is a section of the Great Wall itself– the lake is a tourist destination, which brought in 2.79 million visitors in 2013, according to Kempinski.