Key Dates

12 February - Launch Event
25 June - Standard Deadline
5 November - Final Deadline
12 November - Judging
19 November - Winners Announced
1 December - Awards Presentation

Image Credit : Photographer: Guomin Li

Project Overview

The doorway adopts the thinking mode of modern architecture, extracts the image of streamer from the flying fresco and extends the regular body, plus the commonly used arch fighting elements in the local architecture, through the structural change, the two are integrated. In many parts of the room, niches are used to outline the rich and not fussy space atmosphere, but also to interpret the many regional characteristics of Dunhuang Grottoes.

Project Commissioner

Dunhuang Hexi Corridor Grand Hotel

Project Creator

DHIA Cheng Chimin International Space Design Firm


Chimin Cheng, Min Huang, Zhenli Wei, Xingchen Li

Project Brief

Dunhuang Hexi Corridor Grand Hotel is located on the bank of the splendid Dang River, the mother river that feeds the people on both sides, witnessing the vicissitudes of the ancient city for thousands of years, and surrounding by a magnificent environment. According to the regional characteristics, the designer combines the local culture, national culture and historical context in the process of conception. Under the dominant atmosphere of modernism, the designer uses the language of design to create dialogue with space, and then interprets the visual, tactile and spiritual resonance, reproducing the Dunhuang area humanistic landscape pattern of "The head swallows the sea and the tail joins the desert".
The door header adopts the thinking mode of modern architecture. The designer extracts the image of ribbon from the flying Apsaras frescoes and extends the regular form. With the common dome elements in local architecture, the two are integrated through structural changes, which bring out the best in each other. The sparkling water in front of the door is like a natural polished mirror, reflecting the appearance of the hotel, which is both virtual and real, rigid and soft, as if a giant dragon floating in mid-air, creating a spiritual atmosphere to look up to the heaven and earth.

Project Need

Entering the hotel lobby through the passage, the scene immediately becomes bright and open. In this 10-meter-high large space, in order to avoid emptiness brought by the depth, the designer designed the ceiling into a blue sky, where a drop of water from falls into a bowl made of Qilian Mountains dark jade on the ground, showing the spirit of Zen penetration. At the same time, it also carries the desire for water in the desert, implying the understanding of gratitude. The wall is the visual impact brought by the contrast of grey cement brick blocks and wooden grille elements, which embellishes the light of Crescent Lake's form, creating different ways of light entry, filling the simple space with rich rhythm, leaving infinite reverie without unnecessary decoration.
On the left side is the Zen tea space in the lobby, the orderly niches on the whole wall are magnificent, outlining a rich and non-cumbersome space atmosphere, but also interpreting the numerous regional characteristics of Dunhuang Grottoes. The warm yellow light from the above spotlight delineates the outline of the "box" to create a elegant and quiet space charm, forming a unique three-dimensional sense. The similar design techniques can be found everywhere in the whole hotel, allowing the guests to escape from the worldly noise and let the impetuous heart instantaneous calm, immersing themselves in the world of appreciating this unique exotic design art.

Design Challenge

Moving forward slowly, the background of the service desk is the flying Apsaras woodcarving work of the sculpture master, which conveys the historical and cultural deposits through the fine lines, lifelike forms and exquisite texture. The steel wire mesh barrier arranged vertically in front of the woodcarving makes the static flying Apsaras show the dynamic aesthetic feeling along with the guests' movement. The atmosphere of lively and calm coexistence runs through the whole space, outlining both traditional and modern temperament, and enhancing the magnificent feeling, which is in accordance with the Buddhist saying: "All things are motionless, but the heart is moving".


For this project, many considerations have been taken in terms of green design and sustainability. The original interior space of the building was an office layout, but now it is converted to a hotel layout, so that there will definitely be many demolished buildings. Therefore, the reuse of the building structure is very important. When the interior decoration and reconstruction space is carried out, the original building structure is retained to avoid the overall demolition building waste and reduce the generation of construction waste, such as: the demolished bricks and waste residues are reused on the ground cushion, the original brick wall, steel structure, and concrete structure are exposed without adding unnecessary decorations, and the most complete function is achieved with the least decoration materials, creating a unique atmosphere.
The project is located in the desert Gobi area, which is lack of materials and difficult to transport. Therefore, local natural materials, such as pebbles, stone and sand, are used as far as possible for interior wall decoration. The materials are convenient and cheap, and the transportation is low-carbon and environmentally friendly. It can be recycled and used for nature and return to nature. In addition, natural environmental protection materials such as cardboard, bamboo woven wall decoration and carpet are used degradation, strive to use pollution-free green ecological materials.
As the local sunshine time is as long as 15 hours, all power supply systems of the hotel adopt ecological clean energy: solar power generation design to reduce environmental pollution.

Open to all international projects this award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  

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