Shanghai's South Bund District has seen lots of shiny new development in recent years, but the Water House is a refreshingly old building — despite its contemporary appearance. A former Japanese Army headquarters originally constructed in the 1930s, the concrete box was renovated and transformed into a boutique hotel by Chinese architecture firm Neri&Hu (NHDRO).
The firm won an Emerging Architecture Award 2010 from the Royal Institute of British Architects for the project. Public spaces and views played an important role in the design, the architects say "if you are relaxing in your bedroom you can look down upon the restaurant, if you are outside, you can look in." A little bit creepy, but cool nonetheless.
NHDRO is a parent company to Design Republic, the firm that sourced furnishings and products for the Water House interiors.