Historic Chinese granary is transformed into a chic mountain resort

August 27, 2018 by  
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A cluster of historic, rural Chinese buildings has been saved from the ravages of time by Shanghai-based architecture and interior design studio Ares Partners . The architects transformed six granary structures into the new MIYA | LOSTVILLA Huchen Barn Resort, an elegant and modern hotel tucked in the mountains of Ningbo’s Huchen township. Surrounded by stunning views, the sensitively restored architecture is complemented by modern furnishings and new buildings, covering a total site area of 5,430 square meters. Set between Tiantai Mountain and Siming Mountain, the old granary station was built in 1956. Five of the seven existing buildings were mainly built with stone masonry ; the lower part of the white-painted exterior featured rock stone, and the upper part was constructed with brick. The original buildings were fitted with very small windows located on the upper part of the facade. The remaining two buildings featured timber construction. The team’s goal was to preserve the architectural integrity as much as possible yet make the interiors more comfortable and inviting for human habitation. To that end, the architects stripped the white paint from the facade to reveal the beautiful stone masonry underneath and added large windows to let in more natural light and breathtaking views of the mountains. The structures were reinforced, and the utility pipes and conduits were hidden. Interior walls were inserted to create 21 guest suites. The architects also added a new building to house the reception and meeting facilities, and one of the former buildings from the 1970s was replaced with a new-build as well. Related: Schmidt Hammer Lassen wins bid to design new Ningbo Library in China “We believe the project is well accomplished to transform between two extreme opposite function spaces,” said the architects, who completed the project in 2017. “The architecture form of the new building is modern and abstract. The contemporary architecture language is yet to be respectful to the existing buildings around as well as to nature. Architecture, people and nature are in harmony.” + Ares Partners Images by Su Shengliang

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Historic Chinese granary is transformed into a chic mountain resort

Timber wedding venue in China mirrors the mountainous landscape

July 30, 2018 by  
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When charged with adding a multi-functional building to a mountain resort in China, Shanghai-based firm  AIM Architecture used the stunning landscape as inspiration. Located slightly away from the resort’s existing buildings, MuWeCo stands out for its dramatic vaulted roofs that mimic the outline of the mountain range in the background. The Fushengyu Hot Springs Resort is tucked into the remote foothills of the Luo Fu Shan range in Sichuan, China. The resort has multiple buildings, including the main spa building  and various villas and small apartments that cater to guests looking to enjoy the picturesque setting. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves The resort management wanted a new building on-site to provide extra space for practical uses such as a wedding hall , exhibition area or conference rooms. However, the building’s design was completely inspired by nature. According to the project description, the architects’ concept aimed to create an open space that put the focus on the majestic, mountainous landscape. To blend the building into this stunning backdrop, the architects created a series of striking sloped roofs that evoke the feeling of being under a tent. The dramatic design continues throughout the interior, where the curved ceiling panels dotted with tiny lights create a vibrant atmosphere. The walls of the building are clad almost entirely with glass panels, allowing optimal natural light to flood the interior while providing endless views of the surrounding scenery. The interior is spacious and open, with warm timber and cork paneling and flooring made out of local river stones, again creating a strong connection with nature. To really soak in the surroundings, guests are invited to enjoy the views from the large open-air deck, which provides 360-degree views of the mountain range in the background. According to the architects, they drew inspiration for MuWeCo’s design from the resort ‘s incredible setting and from the desire to ensure complete and total relaxation for guests: “People visit spas for rest and relaxation, and this design opportunity allowed us to re-imagine nature and landscape as public spaces, and our relationship to both. The architecture provides a contrast for the stunning scenery, and has proven to be a lasting and beautiful space for wellness.” + AIM Architecture Via Archdaily Images via AIM Architecture

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After a makeover, this local shack becomes the envy of the neighborhood

July 30, 2018 by  
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Nearly everyone has strolled through a darling neighborhood and suddenly come across an orphan house. Sitting silently, often in the shadows of the prettier houses, there’s a neglected home that once had dignity. A family of four discovered such a home in an Iowa City neighborhood, and with some TLC and help from Neumann Monson Architects , they transformed it into a star of the community. Seeking a tranquil neighborhood near the University of Iowa campus, the family found the unpolished jewel, built in the ’60s, on a quiet street lined with lovely modest homes. It was a smaller, 1,300-square-foot home, and years of high-turnover renters had left their mark, earning the abode the local moniker of “ The Shack .” Related: O2 Studio renovated an old Netherlands home into a gorgeous energy-neutral villa Determined to change that image, the family embarked on a mission of a cosmetic makeover that would also embrace the home’s carbon-neutral potential. After commissioning Neumann Monson Architects for the project, the family wanted to create a guest room and recreation room in the formerly unfinished 500-square-foot basement. Then, the team expanded the ground floor from 1,300 square feet to 2,500 square feet with a slab-on-grade modification. All these upgrades used standard post and beam construction coupled with steel wood framing and steel columns. To sustain the eco-friendly theme, the home’s walls and ceilings were lined with insulated sheathing and foamed-in-insulation, creating R-24 walls and an R-40 roof. Upgraded windows take full advantage of natural light without sacrificing the mid-century spirit. A new tongue-and-groove bleached cedar ventilated rain screen beautified the home’s exterior. Energy-saving renovations also included new super-efficient climate control systems, such as LED lighting , EnergyStar appliances and a closed-loop, horizontally-bored geothermal system with fresh air energy recovery. An 8.4kW photovoltaic array powers the LED lighting, mechanical systems and energy-efficient appliances. The family enjoys the credit they receive from the utility company for their home’s surplus energy, but they love the homey ambiance of the neighborhood even more. A nearby property is undergoing a similar overhaul, so their success appears to be contagious. + Neumann Monson Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Integrated Studio

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After a makeover, this local shack becomes the envy of the neighborhood

Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

December 19, 2017 by  
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People’s Architecture Office just unveiled a futuristic cultural center in China that is equipped with detachable room that serve as “cultural satellites.” The incredible building – called the People’s Station – uses the flexible mini-structures to add extra space when necessary. When not in use, the mini-buildings can be collapsed and transported by bike to other locations. The architects used their own prefabricated system to manufacture the building, which took just three months to construct. Located in a quiet region of Yantai, the building’s design was created to attract visitors to the historic center of the city. Its funky angular volume is comprised of wide open entryways and various sections that seem to float off the ground. Related: China’s new futuristic library is unlike any we’ve seen before On the inside, the exhibition rooms are the first two floors are expansive, with high ceilings that are staggered up diagonally up to the second and third floors. Triangular glass panels flood the interior with natural light . On the top floor, visitors can enjoy a lounge area with a bookstore and a cinema. Throughout the building, there are various outdoor terraces that offer beautiful views of surrounding cityscape, as well as the ocean in the distance. + People’s Architecture Office Via Archdaily Photography courtesy PAO  

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Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

This tiny bamboo and steel shelter lights up like a lantern at night

March 31, 2017 by  
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Chinese studio C.DD took their love for their hometown of Foshan, China and created a tiny shelter that lights up like a lantern at night. Built for Guangzhou Design Week , the Origin of Everything is a perforated steel cube that features the Chinese character for “Hui,” which means “return to the origin.” C.DD’s art installation was developed for an event that asked designers to submit a small-scale representation of a city. Designers HE Xiao-Ping and LI Xing-Lin developed the cubic building to express their hometown’s compact, yet dynamic nature. Related: Handmade MPavilion will be the largest bamboo structure ever built in Australia A wall of bamboo rods froms a small rectangular zone in the center of the steel cube. Although at first glance the small 9-square-meter installation may look like a simple design, when looking at the cross section from above, the two independent squares created by the bamboo wall and exterior wall form the Chinese character “Hui.” Once on the inside, visitors are encouraged to follow the building’s narrow path, which the architects describe as “the road for the journey.” The path winds around the four walls of the cube, leading guests to walk the path alone while background music corresponds to flashing lights. On the exterior, the cube projects a series of maps of Foshan, China through perforated spaces on the steel facade. These holes provide the interior of the tiny space with ventilation and natural light . Via Sunshine PR Photography by OUYANG Yun

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This tiny bamboo and steel shelter lights up like a lantern at night

Amazing transformation of a decrepit cave into a beautiful modern home

February 7, 2017 by  
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Cave homes may conjure up thoughts of primitive living, but that’s not so for one lucky man who received the cave makeover of his dreams in China’s Shanxi Province. As part of a home renovation TV series called “Wow New Home,” architect Shi Yang of hyperSity Architects renovated a decrepit cave house into a stunning modern home. Despite the dramatic transformation, the new home still preserves elements of the traditional cave design. Read on to see the first episode of Wow New Home (in Chinese, starts at 4:00) and how a ramshackle cave was turned into an incredible new abode for five. Located in the Loess Plateau, the former house was one of many cave homes, called yaodong, typical of the area. These traditional dwellings have long been used for their energy-efficient properties; the earth naturally keeps the cave warm in winters and cool in summer. The house in question belonged to a family of five who lived in a series of dark and damp caves that were in a serious state of disrepair, with tilting and crumbling walls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9ty_VyiGg The architects wanted to retain the traditional elements of the cave house while providing a modern refresh. To that end, they preserved the shape of the arched walls and mainly used rammed earth for construction. The interior layout of the home was redesigned in the style of a Chinese courtyard house to open the interior up to natural light and ventilation with space for bamboo gardens. The cave space to the north was mostly left intact, whereas the spaces to the south and west were torn down and reconstructed to make space for five small courtyards connected via a zigzag path. Related: More Than 30 Million People in China Live in Eco-Friendly Caves The renovated home matches the original building height but is strikingly contemporary in appearance. A mix of clay and sand from the nearby mountains were used for the reddish rammed earth walls, creating a visual departure from the original brownish gray earthern walls. The home is entered through the arched doorway that connects to the first courtyard. A path weaves through the new southern-oriented courtyards and cave rooms—which house a kitchen, bedrooms, storage room, dining room, and bathroom—and finally ends at the northernmost space in the rear that’s divided into the grandmother’s bedroom and living room. A skylight punctuates the northernmost space to let in extra light and ventilation. + Wow?? Via ArchDaily

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveils competition-winning design for the Shanghai Library

November 30, 2016 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects just unveiled plans for the new Shanghai Library that are every bit as impressive as the city’s many futuristic buildings. Set to rise in Pudong overlooking the immense Century Park, the Shanghai Library will be light-filled with an eye-catching form. The design beat out proposals from competing firms including Kengo Kuma, David Chipperfield, and Dominique Perrault. The 125,000-square-meter Shanghai Library is shaped like an inverted triangle that appears to float over the landscape. The main library , clad in alternating strips of glazing and floor plate, is set above two glass pavilions housing a 1,200-seat performance venue, exhibition and events space, and dedicated children’s library. “We see the library as the focal point in a park, a central rock within a city-scale Chinese garden,” said Schmidt Hammer Lassen partner Chris Hardie. “One of the most compelling things about this project is its location within a parkland setting. You are in the heart of the world’s largest city, yet we have the opportunity to create a sanctuary for knowledge and media in the trees.” Related: Ennead Architects break ground on celestial Shanghai Planetarium Natural light fills the interior through the fritted glass bands that wrap around the building and a large skylight above the central atrium . Three staggered reading rooms are arranged around the atrium and feature low walls and open seating to promote transparency and spaciousness. Curved timber walls, bookshelves, and floors give the modern interior a sense of warmth. The Shanghai Library is expected to open in 2020. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Via ArchDaily

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Abandoned building is transformed into a vibrant kindergarten in a former Chinese “ghost city”

April 5, 2016 by  
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China finally bans ‘weird’ architecture

February 24, 2016 by  
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The facade of this Chinese art museum was inspired by the undulating curves of the Yellow River

August 11, 2015 by  
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