The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Brings Art to Shanghai

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Swatch Art Peace Hotel, a landmark on Shanghai's fashionable Bund

Shanghai—Swatch Group, the world’s largest maker of watches, has added another business under its umbrella, a hotel.

Situated in the heart of Shanghai’s luxury mile, the Bund, The Swatch Art Peace Hotel opened last week culminating a five-year project to restore and transform the city’s former South Building of the Peace hotel into an art hotel.

Swatch Group partnered with Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Company, a leading hotel operator, to meticulously restore the six-story, red brick hotel to its former glory—and then some.

Part Hotel, Artist Colony, Gallery

Like its name suggests, the Art Peace Hotel is suited to fine artists as well as well-heeled travelers. Two floors of the historic structure have been transformed into 18 workshops and living quarters for artists from around the world. These spacious ateliers can be configured to suit each artist’s needs, while common dining and leisure spaces encourage the artists to meet and share their experience and projects.

The restored Peace Hotel

To celebrate its opening, Swatch organized a day-long Street Painting event, setting up 38 large canvases at intervals along the Bund, and provided participating artists with brushes, paint and all the tools necessary to make a work of art. Throughout the day, the artists, school children, art students and members of the public made art in the Street.

Inside the hotel, artists from around the world, including China, live and work in studios and are chosen by the selection committee to participate.

According to Swatch Group, the hotel’s name and theme “reinforces the already strong connection between Swatch and Art. The watch brand has worked with leading artists over the years to create art using Swatch watches as a canvas on the wrist—“helping art escape from museums and jump to the streets and wrists of ordinary people.”

Visitors to The Swatch Art Peace Hotel may attend a variety of exhibitions on the premises. The top floor of the building hosts the Shook! restaurant and a multimedia space that can be used for concerts, press conferences, movies and various other public and private events. From the roof terrace, guests can admire a panoramic view of The Bund and the spectacular sights of Pudong across the Huangpu River.

Of course, the hotel’s shops include dedicated boutiques on the ground floor host to four of the Swatch Group’ brands: Breguet, Omega, Blancpain and Swatch. Each of the brand boutiques has been designed to complement and enhance the period decor and cultural ambience of Peace Hotel.