Chicago Export
Goettsch Partners Completes Hainan Project

Today we continue a series of reports we call “Chicago Exports.”

So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture.

There has been much hand-wringing lately about the slowdown in the Chinese economy.  That, coupled with recent crackdowns on cash leaving the nation, and an increased reliance on domestic talent has made some wonder how much longer occidental firms will be considered the go-to talent for trophy towers in the world’s most populous nation.

Rosewood Sanya (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Rosewood Sanya (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Until things change, if they ever do, there’s The Loop’s Goettsch Partners, which continues chugging along with dazzling projects on the other side of the world.

Its latest to be completed is the Sanya Forum.  It’s the second in a two-building complex in Haitang Bay neighborhood of Sanya on Hainan Island.  The Rosewood Sanya hotel opened late last year with marketing leaning heavily on its seaside location.

Be seduced by the lush landscape of Haitang Bay with the sweeping ocean views that bind Rosewood Sanya’s 246 guestrooms. The generously sized accommodations include 45 rooms and suites complete with private balcony plunge pools, offering secluded solace within a luxuriously appointed space.

More information following the photo gallery.


Hospitality complex forms landmark destination on Hainan Island

CHICAGO – With the opening of the Rosewood Sanya hotel late last year, architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) celebrated the debut of the final component of its new hospitality complex on Hainan Island in Sanya, China. The Rosewood Sanya and Sanya Forum together form a landmark resort and meeting destination in Haitang Bay. Developed by Poly Real Estate Group, the complex features a 46-story, 711-key resort hotel and serviced apartment tower, a 28,000-square-meter forum convention center, a series of connecting retail buildings, and a modest visitors center.

The luxury resort hotel, with interiors by Hong Kong-based firm AB Concept, is designed to be intimate and exclusive, offering a limited 246 generously sized rooms—all with ocean views and individual terraces, some with their own plunge pool. Hotel guests arrive at a lushly landscaped entry and are immediately whisked up elevators to the sky lobby on level 14 for check-in. Combined with level 13 below, this expansive two-level public area features unparalleled views and landscaped terraces, along with several amenities including a sweeping infinity-edge sky pool, lobby lounge, three-meal restaurant, and an executive club. From the sky lobby, local elevators then escort guests to their rooms on the lower levels. The 465 serviced apartments are located in the main tower, which sits immediately behind the low, linear bar of hotel rooms. The top of the tower features a multilevel club for the exclusive use of the apartment residents and culminates in the iconic “lighthouse beacon.” The five-story forum serves as the link between the hotel and the new public square at Haitang Plaza.

“This hotel marks Rosewood’s first mainland China resort, and the forum is the largest convention center in the area,” said James Zheng, AIA, LEED AP, president of GP. “We are very pleased to deliver this landmark complex in collaboration with Poly Group.”

The design concept focuses on two main architectural elements: the “lighthouse beacon” for the hotel and serviced apartment tower, and a complementary “rock” for the forum convention center. With its glowing beacon visible when approached from land or sea, the 230-meter tower is conceived of as a unique resort in the sky. The building is organized vertically; its arrival sequence, world-class amenities, lush landscape, and incorporation of limitless water views are all considered integral to the creation of an unmatched resort experience. The forum is integrated with the surrounding landscape to create a compelling architectural presence that blends in with the lush landscape and opens framed views toward Haitang Bay. At the location where the land meets the sea, the lighthouse beacon tower rises from a conceptual outcropping of rock to serve as the symbolic center of the bay.

“The ‘lighthouse’ metaphor of the tower distinguishes the hotel from other island resorts, and the forum’s sculpted form transcends the typical conference center,” said Elias Vavaroutsos, AIA, principal and senior project designer at GP. “These architectural symbols relate to the island context and heighten local awareness of the surrounding environment, geography and landscape.”

Within the wider context, the project acknowledges the importance of Haitang Plaza, the new public square for the surrounding bay where locals gather and access the waterfront. The forum is placed immediately north of the plaza and serves as the gateway to the development. Immediately north of the forum, the hotel tower is aligned on axis with Wuzhizhou Island as the iconic symbol of Haitang Bay.

Location: No. 6 Haitang North Road, Haitang Bay

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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