“We are positioning URBN as China’s green brand,” says New York-based Godfrey. “It’s a very loft-like experience. Very clean lines. We’re doing a great emphasis on modern art in terms of photography.” The redesign will feature reclaimed wood and brick from local areas.
Opened in 2008, the 26-room Shanghai URBN, China’s first carbon-neutral hotel, has environmental features such as passive solar heating and energy-efficient water-based air conditioning, but doesn’t scrimp on comfort, with its king-sized beds and flat-screen televisions.
Godfrey is best known for his clothing line, carried by high-end retailers, and worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.
In thinking through URBN, Godfrey had to resist some of his design instincts, but welcomed the challenge: “As a fashion designer doing an interior property, I love the idea of doing things like cowhide and Mongolian lamb pillows. But that’s not really something you can use in a green hotel. When you source materials like hardwood floors or paint or lighting fixtures, you do so in a way that is friendly to the environment, pleasing but also fashion-forward.”
The next big development for Cachet will be its flagship project in Bangkok. The Cachet Hotel & Residences brand plans to launch in 2016 with a 27-storey mixed-use property with 224 serviced apartments and 70 luxury hotel rooms, concert venue and more.