After Swatch Group bought the building it was transformed into a luxury boutique hotel and into a place where artists are invited to stay and live to be creative. Click on “read more” and get my inside story…
As you know Swatch has been working closely with artists for more than thirty years. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel represents a further commitment to support artists and their work.
Carlo Giordanetti, the Creative Director of Swatch told me in Shanghai: “Swatch loves art and believes that artists, with their messages, freedom, energy and focus, contribute to making the world a better place.”
Built in 1908 as the Palace Hotel and later known as the South Building of the Peace Hotel, today’s Swatch Art Peace Hotel is located on the Bund in Shanghai. The landmark Swatch Art Peace Hotel enjoys protected status as a cultural monument. Conceived and led by Swatch Group, the restoration project was approved in 2008. The Group selected a design agency to draw up plans for the hotel interiors, and work began that year. The project drew upon the skills of experts in the field of historic preservation to ensure that due respect was paid to the hotel’s heritage and status as one of Shanghai’s best-known landmarks. Restoration experts made use of archival documents and period photographs to guide their work.
The ground floor now hosts three Swatch Group brands: Omega, Blancpain and Swatch boutiques occupy 2,000 of the building’s 11,300 square meters. Six storeys high, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel hosts 18 workshop-apartments for visiting guest artists, invited to live and work on the premises for periods of up to six months. A multipurpose exhibition space hosts a diverse range of cultural and commercial events. Themed guest suites and rooms, the world-class “Shook !” restaurant and a rooftop terrace complete the international art hotel’s facilities.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is at the crossroads of the Nanjing Road and the Bund in Shanghai’s former financial district. As important to the city today as Fifth Avenue to New York and the Champs-Elysées to Paris, Shanghai’s iconic avenue stretches for more than a mile along the west bank of the Huangpu River. Fifty-two buildings from the 19th and early 20th century were once at the heart of the foreign concessions. Diverse architectural styles recall western European tastes ranging from Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque to Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco (Shanghai has one of the richest collections of Art Deco structures in the world). Today the Bund welcomes thousands of visitors every day to its monuments, restaurants, luxury boutiques and fashion houses, and special events attract even more.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is conceived as a focal point of the contemporary arts in China’s most vibrant and fascinating city. Its unique operational concept blends a retail environment with a hotel and studios where artists live and work. Gifted artists from around the world are selected by an international committee and invited by the Swatch Group to live and work in the 18 workshop-apartments on the premises. An invitation represents a unique opportunity for artists from a broad range of creative disciplines to meet on a daily basis, to exchange ideas and to work together in an extraordinary creative environment. Complementary to the artist workshops, The Swatch Art Peace Hotel offers a limited number of exclusive, themed suites and rooms to guests who wish to experience a unique creative ambience in which art is a “live” activity.
In Shanghai I met Carlo Giordanetti, the Creative Director of Swatch. In our conversation he explained what actually happens in The Swatch Art Peace Hotel and how the artists live and work there…
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This is the new Swatch we talk about…
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