SOURCE: HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates

HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates

February 26, 2009 08:52 ET

HBA to Design Asia's First Waldorf Astoria

Landmark Hotel Specialists, HBA Is Set to Transform the Legendary Shanghai Club Into the Magnificent Waldorf Astoria On The Bund Shanghai

SHANGHAI, CHINA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2009) - HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, designers of the prestigious new Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, are set to revive a second landmark heritage property on the city's iconic Bund waterfront.

The world's leading hospitality design consultancy has been appointed by Hilton Hotels Corporation to transform the former Shanghai Club at No. 2 The Bund into the Waldorf Astoria On The Bund Shanghai.

Set to open in 2011, the Waldorf Astoria On The Bund Shanghai will be the first hotel in Asia for Hilton's prestigious luxury brand. HBA was the obvious candidate for the high-profile project on account of its unrivalled experience in preservation and adaptation of landmark hotels around the world. HBA has its own history of augmenting new brands within global hotel groups and in the past have delivered classic restoration designs in New York, Paris, Chicago, Athens and other gateway cities. HBA's signature design elegance and timeless grace, uniquely adapted for today's luxury travelers, is a perfect fit for the legendary Waldorf Astoria brand.

According to HBA Principal, Ian Carr, "Restoring or converting these properties, such as is the quest for the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai, is a true labor of love for the design team, the ultimate challenge of taking the historical context and adding the up-to-date convenience and style of current expectations. The hotel, when completed, will become a bellwether property for this high-end emerging brand."

The exquisite English Renaissance style building was completed in 1910 and opened as the now-legendary Shanghai Club in January 1911. Throughout the city's 1920s and '30s Pearl of the Orient heyday, it was Shanghai's most exclusive gentleman's club, filled with decadent delights like bowling alleys, restaurants, an oyster bar, and two wine cellars. One of the highlights was its celebrated Long Bar -- which at 110 feet was once the longest bar in the world.

Still one of the finest architectural gems along Shanghai's waterfront promenade, the whitewashed façade is adorned with Palladium columns, intricate gables and a pair of sculpted rooftop cupolas. The interiors -- including the original Sicilian marble columns and stained glass imported from Birmingham, England -- will be painstakingly restored through extensive use of archived photographs and records.

HBA's renovation of this historic pleasure palace will continue the Shanghai Club's legacy of refined indulgence, while equipping the building with the luxury amenities demanded by today's discerning traveller. The new hotel will comprise 266 rooms across two buildings.

Like its cherished predecessor, the Shanghai Club, The Waldorf Astoria will capture the spirit of 1930s Shanghai and become a bastion of civility and style for the refined modern traveller.

HBA: Global Leaders in Historic Restorations

An international leader in historical preservation and adaptation in the hospitality design industry, HBA has worked on several of the world's oldest and most prized hotels to ensure the quality and relevance of the restoration works.

In 2003, HBA restored the Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens in Greece, which was first opened in 1874. An ambitious preservation and refurbishment programme saw the addition of state-of-the-art facilities, swimming pools, restaurants, a spa, Grand Ballroom, plus meetings and conference rooms. The interior design blended French and Italian neoclassical furniture, taking cues from photographs of the hotel taken in the late 19th century. The detailing throughout was inspired by the original 1843 palace, which featured fluted columns, ionic capitals and mosaic floors.

The St. Regis Grand Rome originally opened in 1894 as Rome's first deluxe hotel. After an extensive restoration and renovation by HBA in 1999, the hotel reclaimed its status as the finest hotel in Rome -- and one of the best in the world. This honor was re-emphasized when the restored hotel was named on the Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious 2005 Gold List.

Westin Europa & Regina located in Venice, Italy consists of five historic buildings dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. HBA was appointed in 1997 by Starwood Hotels & Resorts to restore the historical buildings, maintaining the hotel's traditional beauty while offering contemporary conveniences. It was also named on the Condé Nast Traveler's 2005 Gold List.

One of the world's most famous hotels, the Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912. This epitome of luxury was recreated by HBA in 1995, providing opulence and tranquility in a truly residential setting. Likewise, Hilton Chicago, one of the city's grandest dames, was restored to its full glory in 1985.

About HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates

As global leaders in hospitality interior design, HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates is credited with revolutionizing the hotel design industry. After 45 years in business, the company consistently sets new creative trends, pushes boundaries and injects fresh visual ideas into some of the world's best-known addresses.

HBA has successfully completed over 1000 projects in 80 countries. It has gained an unrivalled knowledge of the cultural, financial, geographical and programmatic requirements involved in all manner of design projects -- from world-class hotels and resorts, to boutique hotels, spas, casinos, cruise ships and private residences.

HBA employs over 425 design professionals in 13 offices worldwide: Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne, New Delhi, Dubai, and Manila. Its achievements are attributed to HBA's fundamental values of research and sensitivity to the needs of its markets.

For more information, please visit the HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates website at

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