W Shanghai

Practice Area


Marriott International

Project Vision

Studio Ongarato developed a distinctive site narrative for the W Shanghai hotel and created an immersive experience for visitors, drawing on the history, geography and culture of the city. The conceptual narrative, “Captivating Contrasts,” was informed by the uniquely Shanghainese culture of Hai Pai, the art of bringing together the East and West.

The installations and art commissions includes: a futuristic encapsulated LED light installation hanging within a 22m tall atrium, whose elements are responsive to the time of day, setting the scene; a polished brass kaleidoscopic reception wall that greets visitors, mirroring the mix of cultures and influences from around the world.

A site-specific installation in the open-air courtyard drapes from the skylight, introducing color, texture and movement as it brings never-ending contrast to the space as a chain curtain below the skylight refers to the sensual and captivating side of Shanghai that made it a hub of exchange and diversity. The Cantonese restaurant in the hotel features a virtual dragon created from enameled discs developed by local craftsmen practicing a centuries-old craft.

Floor mosaics provide a fusion of traditional eastern Qi Pao patterning within a melting pot of western influences as a dramatic agamograph mirror mixes graphic florals from the traditional Qi Pao with Golden Age characters and elements to create a collage reflecting Shanghai glamour.

W Shanghai Entry Installation was a 2018 Merit Award Winner

Project Details
Design Team

Fabio Ongarato (creative director); Ben Kluger (lead designer); Nuttorn Vongsurawat, Drew Hernando, Samantha Ziino (designer); Sarah Cope (project director)


SOM Architects (architect), GA Design Architects (interior architects), Assume Vivid Astro Focus (living room installation), Coozie (mural in all-day dining)


Shanghai KangYe Construction & Engineering Co. Ltd (fabrication, installation)