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In the early 20th century, Shanghai transformed itself into a sophisticated modern city – dubbed “the Paris of the East.” It was the first city in East Asia that truly combines Chinese and European architecture. In recent years, Shanghai has benefited from huge capital investment, and this had led to a boom in new architecture.
The JW Marriott Hotel in China opened in October 2003. Acknowledged as the group’s most elegant and luxurious Marriott brand, only 29 JW hotels are in operation out of its 2,600 properties. JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai is an integral part of the Tomorrow Square building. Located in the heart of Puxi, Shanghai’s business district, the hotel is near such landmarks as The Bund, People’s Park, People’s Square, Shanghai Grand Theatre and Shanghai Museum.
Physically, Tomorrow Square is a striking modern glass and steel structure, making full use of high quality raw materials – concrete and the latest technology. Starting from a square base, the tower transforms itself into a diagonal square as it rises to a peak. It is also built to withstand wind and earthquake forces with a combination of shear walls and frame action. Lighting plays an important role in this project as Tomorrow Square was originally built to be an all-purpose building, with the lobby for the JW Marriott Hotel placed on the 38th floor due to the design of the elevators and the grand halls in the main lobby. The hotel needed to create a welcoming environment just for guests as soon as they enter the building and maintain a special environment for them between the ground floor and the 38th floor.
Occupying 24 of the building’s 60 floors, the hotel features 342 luxurious guest rooms and suites and 255 apartments offering magnificent panoramic city views. Guests experience an exquisite range of international cuisines, state-of-the-art business and recreation facilities, including the Mandara Spa, and the personalized service renowned at JW Marriott hotels worldwide.
The hotel’s lighting consultant Lightsource International (Asia) Ltd. chose Lutron to provide light control systems in various locations within the hotel. They include the ballroom, two restaurants, coffee shop, executive lounge, spa, wine cellar, lounge and other public areas. They selected Lutron to meet present and future lighting challenges.
Lawrence Lee, lighting designer at Lightsource commented, “Lutron’s lighting control systems are perfect for a ballroom, where different ambience can be created; when there is a seminar, lighting level is high with lights being dimmed during presentations; for a dinner dance, the lights are adjusted in such a way that a relaxed and dazzled environment is set up. For the coffee shop setting, lights are usually focused on the environment to make dining an enjoyable and comfortable experience; however, for special arrangements like a dinner or luncheon buffet, the focus is placed on the food so that lights on them can bring out the emphasis. It works the same for the wine cellar. For places where daylight can shine through, Lutron products adjust so that a low level of light is used to complement it.
"We have been specifying Lutron products on projects in the US and Asia for 20 years. We have found that they are very robust, dependable and easy to work with. Their main benefit is simplicity in the controls, which most users interface with. We rarely have to re-train the end users on how to operate the system,” said Lee.
With the GRAFIK 6000 preset light control system, Lee was able to preset scenes across different areas over 60 floors in the hotel and minimize training time for JW Marriott staff and clients. This flexibility has allowed the JW Marriott to handle requests and changes from their clients quickly and easily.