Architecture Hotel design Sustainable design

Yunnan hotel by CCD references the area’s geographical and cultural context through rammed earth and brick construction

February 7, 2022

The hotel by Cheng Chung Design (CCD) is located in Dongfengyun Art Town, Mile, Yunnan Province. The architecture, conceived by renowned architect Luo Xu based on the design concept “austerity, simplicity and authenticity”, reveals a round, stable and simple image.

The building seems to carry the traces of time that is reflected in its rough finish. It quietly lies on the red soil, showing a magnificent posture.

While approaching the interior design, CCD did not adopt “modernised” or “industrial” design expressions. Instead, the team drew inspiration from local cultural context, and leveraged simplistic languages to integrate the space into nature.

The bowl-shaped entrance space has a carved-out opening on the top, which creates pleasing echoes. 

With natural daylight pouring in, dynamic light and shadows freely move in the space and fall on the curved enclosure wall, which appears like rippling water surface and evokes infinite imagination.

The varying rhythms of light and shadows coupled with surprising sensory experiences and elaborate details create a sense of ritual to welcome guests.

Considering the attribute of the project as a leisure resort hotel, the design team mainly utilized low-level lighting, with a view to producing a comfortable, natural and warm luminous ambience. In contrast, lighting for artworks, signs and tabletops are accentuated, to create visual highlights. Based on the principle “less is more”, direct ceiling lighting is reduced to avoid glare.

The bowl-like entrance space and modern lighting installations incorporate more local cultural elements to highlight the unique features of the hotel. Lighting and daylight collides with natural materials such as red bricks, rammed earth and straw-textured paint, accentuating the presence of each other. The wall washing lighting strips installed near the floor generate a soft, graceful and ethereal vibe, perfectly interacting with the space.

Frameless black mirrored lighting fixtures are mounted in a concealed manner, creating a visual feast that light and shadows, materials and the space are well blended together.

The lobby continues natural design languages, and meanwhile shows full respect to architectural structures and local culture. Plain materials such as local red burnt bricks, cement, clay and crocks are adopted, so as to unify the tone of the interior space and integrate it with the building into a whole.

CCD abandoned complex, exaggerated decorations, and intended to let every object in the space gradually reveal the authentic charm as time passes.

The cement-finished backdrop wall, round columns, crock-shaped lamps and geometric front desks show sculpture-like powerful, three-dimensional and steady features. Those elements are independent and also complement each other.

A natural, simple atmosphere suffuses the overall space. Through various forms, the design realizes the symbiosis of natural elements and architectural space.

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The atrium is decorated with no excessive flowers or plants, but is highlighted by a shallow rippling pool in the middle, which is tranquil yet intriguing.

The architecture and plants are reflected on the water surface, which expands the space atmospherically and provides a natural, cozy and refreshing experience. Upon entering the atrium courtyard, the guests can immediately get relaxed and feel an indescribable pleasure.

The walls of the restaurant utilize local red clay bricks and draw on the form of grape trellis, which not only combines modern innovations and old textures, but also create infinite possibilities in diversified ways.

Meanwhile, local characteristic pottery is used as adornments to enhance the sense of history in the space. The names and design of all guestrooms pay tribute to local art such as painting, pottery, dyeing and composition, as well as treasures like jade and pearls.

Every detail retains the trace of local craftsmanship and secretly tells its own story. With “warm ambience” and “original simplicity” fusing into the space, the design fully embodies the hotel’s aesthetic philosophy — “Art dialogues with everything, inspiration portrays life”.

Joe Cheng, founder of Cheng Chung Design

CCD was founded by Joe Cheng. Since its establishment, CCD has received over 90 top-notched international design awards including the highest honour in the interior design field — ‘Gold Key Awards’. The firm has provided interior design and consulting services to more than 20 international hotel management groups, such as Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Alila, Diaoyutai MGM, Wyndham, more than 50 international brands and more than 100 luxury hotels. 

Project details:

Project name: DongFengYun Hotel Mi’Le — MGallery

Location: Dongfengyun Art Town, Mile, Honghe Hani & Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province

Client: Yunnan Urban & Rural Construction Investment Co., Ltd.

Architectural design: Luo Xu

Landscape design: Yunnan Zilian Landscaping & Greening Engineering Co., Ltd.

Interior design: CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK) (

Lighting design: CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK) (

Art consulting: CCD · WOWU Art Consultancy

Area: 39,000m2

Photographers: Wang Ting, Qiu Xin; copyright: CCD

See the full image gallery here:

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