Recently, in China, there are more and more innovation projects rather than new buildings, and the theme of these projects are changing from city to rural area. But the rural area are no longer just traditional villages, essentially, they are more like villages from the city dwellers' viewpoint and to satisfy city dwellers' imagination. Under this circumstance, village B&B hotel turns out to be a very convenient architecture type for city life to intervene in village development. What it can achieve is city dwellers' imagination of village life. In this project, the core issue for us is how to renovate the building into a classical Chinese garden for city dwellers to escape from their city life, and create a "un-city" experience from city dwellers' view.
This project sits at Guojiagou village, Tianjin. The site is at the center of the village, both the north side and south side of the site have a small pool, on the west side is a hill, and east side is the main village area. Between the main village area and the site, there is a big square and the main road, all the village roads are distributed in fan shape and centered to the site.
The existing buildings are a group of single floor buildings with grey tiles sloping roof and black bricks supported structure. We maximized the existing circumstance, maintained and emphasized the main structure of existing building, based on this strategy, we introduced in steel structures, white cubes, glazed walls, wooden grilling, and other modern materials to achieve a balance between new and old.
We use outdoor corridors as semi interior space tool to connect all isolated existing buildings and change them into a single building with strong inner relationship. Then, we use new walls and new volumes to change public spaces between buildings and along pools into private spaces as inner courtyards, dooryards or rooms. The process of entering every single room is from public space to semi public space then to private space, as a series of experience like wandering in classical Chinese gardens. The originally private center courtyard was changed into a center public space surrounded by tearoom, lobby, main entrance, and restaurant, this new center courtyard connected the square and hill belongs to the villagers and can be shared by the guest and villagers together as a public center.
From the bird view, we used a sense of order and collage to achieve a conversation between new construction part and the old one.
In the public space, we used three strategies to deal with entrance and the square front: introduced in waters at different heights to create different ways of interactions between people and water; used gaped new and old materials on the main façade to create a diversity collage effect; designed main entrance as a frame for the view behind, and a space for people to rest.
The center courtyard is a space with two essential quality. When the doors of tearoom and entrance are closed, it could be a activity center to hold parties or conferences; when doors are open, it turns out to be a extension of the front square.
The back side of tearoom we created a landscape view terrace, then we designed a rock garden as a transition space between nature landscape and architecture, most other surrounded nature landscape are preserved.
The public interior space mainly include Lobby, tearoom and restaurant. The main character of these spaces are: Transparency, to blend interior and outside; opening big space, for public collective activities, differentiation, these three spaces have their own styles.
The semi public spaces are connections between public spaces and private spaces, they are mainly designed as outdoor corridors and courtyards, this part is strongly implying the character of classic Chinese garden. We used five strategies to created this character: 1. Different height. 2. Opening of roof. 3. Opposite scenery. 4. Frame view. 5. Pavement differentiation. At last, we created an experience of The winding path leads to a secluded quiet place, and different spaces have different scenes.
Private spaces are constituted by private rooms and private courtyards. The existing spaces of old building have those problems: Rooms are too small, too long and narrow, and they are in the same shape. So we subdivide areas and differentiate room types to solve these problems.
The main difference between traditional hotels and village B&B hotels are private courtyards. Village B&B hotels have private courtyards which make them can have more complicated relationship between indoor space and outdoor space. In this project, we designed five kinds of courtyards: Single direction courtyard, Front and rear courtyard, Longitudinal courtyard, Island courtyard, Triple courtyard. Finally, through the design of courtyards, even all these rooms are attached to each other, we created an experience of surrounded by the nature in each room.
For the courtyard itself, we used three strategies.
Firstly, the water strategy: we designed wood pavements for the courtyards as rest stages near by the water, and moved away the existing pavilion which was at the center of south side pool, then, we use water stages at different height to create a feeling of continuous water slope from the courtyard.
Secondly, we use detailed landscape and materials to differentiate courtyards: every courtyards have a tree of different species. For the small courtyards, we used furniture and soft landscape to create diversity, for the big courtyards, we use grilling, canopy to create diversity.
Finally, for the facades, we used white grilling and partitions on the transparent glass walls to achieve a light feeling and balance the grave feeling created by existing black brick walls. Meanwhile, use these materials we are trying to attempt abundant layers of façade effect.