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JSPA Design creates a boutique hotel in China on the site of former traditional farmhouse

November 20, 2019

Located in Daixi, a small town between Huzhou and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, the site of the 700m2 hotel was formed by a gentle slope at the bottom side of a hill covered with tea fields and surrounded by bamboo forest. The project consisted of the creation of a rose plantation used for cosmetics production along with a hospitality programme including a spa, hotel and rose museum.

The first phase started with a small building with few rooms and public spaces from which the rest of the project was developed.

“An old farm with its traditional Zhejiang rural architecture was already present on-site and we chose to preserve this existing building and settle the project next to it.” – Lead architects Johan Sarvan and Florent Buis from JSPA Design.

The idea was to try to understand the old local construction techniques and materials in order to find a rational and efficient way to build in this area and therefore anchor the project in its site. The project is settled perpendicularly to the existing farm to create a dialogue between the two buildings while a terrace and a swimming pool are connecting the two entities together.

The architecture of the project works with the archetypal form of the house: a unique volume covered with a pitched roof of traditional tiles. This volume is then perturbated by the addition of four prominent steel boxes. The first of them, an 8-meter high steel frame, cuts the building open and creates an exterior circulation space: a flight of stairs leading to the second floor and an outdoor gallery.

Three other steel boxes organise the façade and manage the relationship between the interior and exterior. They create intimate alcoves going out of the building and framing the surrounding landscape.

The ground floor is made of rammed earth and hosts the four rooms of the project. This heavy material allows providing a good thermal and acoustic insulation while creating an interesting texture left visible on the facade and in the rooms. It is equally a rational contemporary way of building and a subtle reference to the local architecture

On the second floor are the meeting rooms and living spaces. The building becomes lighter and uses wood for the facade. The wooden parts of the façade are the ones allowing to create openings: on the first floor they become doors to enter the rooms and on the second floor they take the form of shutters allowing natural ventilation and the total opening of the space to the outside.

The roof structure uses a combination of steel and wood to allow a long span and create a high volume for the public spaces of the project with the wooden rafters and steel profiles left visible. On the south side, a large covered terrace is created and offers an open view of the surrounding landscape.

Photos: JSPA Design

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