The National Hotel
The Victorian era National Hotel found itself in a new century, in the Chinese quarter of Victoria Street, disconnected from the community it is now apart of. The National has been re-imagined to respond to its present context in which 21st century China has shaken its image of a quaint, exotic and mysterious land; presenting instead a more menacing and vast manufacturing and economic power. Calling for an architecture of utilitarian sensibility: everything is robust and unpretentious, everything serves a purpose. The Victorian shell was stripped of 100 years of renovations, down to its bones and internal workings. The space was then divided into ‘provinces’ and governed by one central commanding body - the bar. Monumental, the bar forms a wall stretching the length of the building from the inside to out, enabling staff behind to easily survey and serve patrons in any of the 5 ‘provinces’. Each with its own vernacular, unified yet different.