BESIDES and BLANCO are two projects of design hotel processed one after another. With a major area intended for family, social and public usages, the hotel of six guestrooms provides a facility for the exchanges between the dwellers about their experiences in travel and living, either in hotel’s homelike sitting room, the coffee bar or its pleasant courtyard.
▼“别止”外观，exterior of hotel Besides
Imagine a simple, plain yet modern way of life in close proximity to nature, and a background of multiple lives which consists abstractly of pure white and stones. Color white offers a possibility of limitless imagination, while stones a closeness to and a humble utilization of the nature. Framing the view layer by layer and integrating as much as possible the woods and hills into the interior which absorbs also the negative surroundings dissolved in the light rays. Space needs be heard. Poetry and photography are in correspondence with the space experiences and the composition of reciprocal views (a method often applied in a traditional Chinese garden). In such an amicable space amid woods and hills, no matter what way of life is led, collective or solitary, gleeful or serene, all will be enjoyable. Used as furniture or, sometimes, a kind of wall, the ‘constructed furniture’ defines the space and, at the same time, introduces the spirit of architecture and Chinese garden into the interior. Intentional extension of walls, either in horizontal or in vertical direction, arouses a kind of affinity between the dwellers and the surrounding architecture. These interior ‘constructions’, with their appropriate dimension, make dwellers more apt to experience the traditional way of living amid woods and hills, even including the acts of climbing, crawling and cross-legged sitting which are already implied in the enveloping structures usually situated outdoors. The dimension of the mini-landscape as well as its wide horizontal angle of view make possible the co-existence of a big world and a smaller one in one and the same sight of view.
▼“白格”外观，exterior of hotel Blanco
Built up in early 2000, the original main building of this hotel is situated in a dwelling area, not far from the West Lake, surrounded by woods and hills. The Chinese name of this hotel, literally meaning ‘staying aside’, can be traced back to the phrase ‘choose an extraordinary courtyard and stay there for a rest’, as the building is endowed with a remarkable courtyard of 240 square meters. An extra small house behind the main building has been renovated into an individual guesthouse with its own private courtyard. A great number of “constructed furniture” offers a resolution to the space division in a limited area and meet the demand for furniture use. Based on the idea of “stone”, the overall image of the hotel is expected to recall a feeling of eternity in space.
▼“别止”坐落于西湖附近的民居内，the original main building of Besides is situated in a dwelling area near the West Lake
▼一楼大厅的休闲空间，the seating area in the lobby
Six Views of Hotel BESIDES
“山石” 小相大林 | ‘Mountain Stones’ – Moderate Image and Exalted Woods
Formed but formless at the same time, stones are factually beyond our choosing the stone form. They seem adaptable to all patterns and momentums. Mountains and stones are one, just like herbs and woods. View creation depends upon the features of surrounding area instead of stones themselves. A great number of stones can be found in the site of BESIDES, which reflects the idea of using the simplified “Chinese landscape painting” to convey the relationship between humans and the Nature. Pebbles, gravels, slates, lake stones, stone varnish, stone pavilions and stone lanterns… with all these being settled in various places, the hotel space is imbued with serenity, solidness, wholesomeness and eternity. The stones offer a fundamental tone for the whole space, even including the indoor area, which tenderizes the color of the earth basked in the light rays. Enveloped sometimes of moss and scattered among gravels, some stones can be taken as lovely venue like islet, oasis or even tiny continent. Vestiges of time, of sunny days or rainy nights, all can be traced back slowly, only with a little more patience.
▼“别止”用了大量的石头，以简化的“山水”去表达人与山林及自然的关系，a great number of stones can be found in the site, which reflects the idea of the simplified “Chinese landscape painting”
铜镜 照形取影 | Bronze Mirror – Reflection of Shapes and Shadows
Made from bronze or iron, the traditional mirror is a good instrument for self-inspection. The hand-hammered bronze and its round surface being combined together, the mirrors, scattered casually in the living rooms and the waterside terraces, have in themselves a series of reflected space. Through these endless reflections, geometric patterns are repeated and overridden one upon another. The bronze surface, as a material without being excessively processed, is getting more glistening with frequent human contact.
▼铜镜散布在整个空间的居室，the bronze mirrors are scattered casually in the living rooms
木-登及坐香 | Wood -Sitting in Fragrance
Stay with a tree of choice and take a rest against its trunk. Wood, thanks to its inherent warmth, has a certain kind of affinity with humans. Piled up into a platform for people to sit on, the traditional style of mat-sitting in a guesthouse finds its modern version of comfort and coziness. Japanese Cypress wood, material being used here, has a lot of remarkable qualities, such as essential oil in great amount, fragrance without irritating odor, very hard essence, high resistance against decay, corrosion and erosion by worms, with its woody fragrance gradually emitting under the daily usage, which can last for a very long time.
▼客房内将传统的席地融入到舒适、慵散的环境当中， the traditional style of mat-sitting in a guesthouse finds its modern version of comfort and coziness
图框 – 望至自然 | View Framing – Nature in Sight
Once properly framed, nature may turn into a beautiful scenery. With woods and hills as background, the four seasons unfold their changing sequences under the eyes of dwellers. The surrounding camphor trees as high as a vault and the starry sky being taken for a tent, one is apt to feel the alternation of the four seasons. Being opened towards the view to introduce the verdure into the indoor space, the windows look like some landscape paintings and those tiny squares may be taken as viewfinders in response to the constantly changing outside scenery. Emphasized with their borders in gray, theses frames, just like different lens imbedded in the whole building, bring in front of you the authenticity of the woods and hills.
▼对景开窗，大面积层叠的绿色是居室的背景， the window is opened towards the view to introduce the verdure into indoor space
▼灰色的线条勾勒出图框的边界，the frames are emphasized with their borders in gray
地台-简居随性 | Ground Terraces – Simplicity and Casualness
The simplified “constructed furniture” seems having grown into such objects as counter tops, desks, tea tables, stairs and waterside platforms, constituting a three-dimensional layout for each space. Serving as border and separator for the entire space system, similar elements are exploring a simple and plain way of life. Being considered as furniture and construction at the same time, these equipments demonstrate not only the solidity and utility as a real object, but also the formal quality as a derivative from the wall or the ground, defining various areas within a limited space and keeping it orderly and versatile as well.
▼简化的“筑体家具”带来纵横的立体布局，the simplified “constructed furniture” constitutes a three-dimensional layout for each space
▼浴池可看作墙或地面的衍生，the tub is designed a derivative from the wall or the ground
圆形 – 周而复始 | Round Shape – Endlessly Moving in Cycle
It starts from where it ends. All images are contained in the formlessness. The round shape is mild yet limitless, gentle yet brilliant. Looking like an endless overlapping of spaces, it is the embodiment of limitlessness, though the latter is no more than conceptual. Never has existed a real “round shape” in the real world because such a shape is merely conceptual. Leaving off its original meaning, it would find itself in a curve. With one less stroke, it might turn itself back to merely one point, quite like the day repeating itself but in different manner.
▼圆形元素贯穿了室内空间，the round shape is integrated to many parts of the room
▼一层平面图， 1st floor plan
▼二层平面图，2nd floor plan
▼三层平面图，3rd floor plan
Based on two separate rural houses built in the 1980s with a gap in-between of only 1.2 meters in width, Hotel BLANCO is facing to an expanse of camphor trees at the foot of the Mount Yuhuang, with a back house currently being used by its owner. The building is 7.6 meters in width, having its neighbors on the right side and, on its left, an alley of less than 1 meter in width. A spatial depth of as far as 26 meters cannot be said favorable in terms of lighting effect. The focus of our renovation is therefore mainly to introduce as much as possible the external light into the indoor space, and to attenuate the overly enclosed indoor space of the building on the back row.
▼白格由两栋独立的80年代农宅改造而来，hotel Blanco is based on two separate rural houses built in the 1980s
In order to attain an maximum opening and visibility of its public space, the gap between the two original buildings, being enclosed now, are transformed into an inner courtyard and the original frame structure of bricks and stones has been reinforced with steel structure. After the renovation, no more physical division existed between the passageways, the sitting room and the inner courtyard. The color white, major hue for the entire building, enhances the feeling of hollowness of the stretched inner space. With the southern façade of the hotel being filled with floor-to-ceiling windows, a pleasant view is directly introduced not merely of the courtyard but also of the wooded hills opposite the hotel.
▼两栋建筑中的间隔成为了封闭的内向庭院， the gap between the two original buildings was enclosed to create an inner courtyard
Having fixed the color white as the major tone for the six guestrooms, we cede a large part of the indoor space, in most of our guestrooms, for a spacious bath and spa area, in the hope that our guests can be recovered from fatigue after a comfortable bath. The public space is intended for working and taking breaks. A terrace is set up on the ground floor towards the inner courtyard. And inside the room is built a super-large platform on which are installed two single beds. Four rooms on the second floor, endowed with balconies on the wooded hill side. All the six rooms being named after some components of Chinese characters, and the literal meaning of symbols is thus dissolved in the stokes.
▼室内的六个房间均以白色为基调，white is the major tone for the six guest rooms
一号房，“一” yī。意为：完整，景不长留，但一方山林为你而在，四季则完整。以一道矮墙分割卧室与洗漱区域。二号房，“冂” jiōng。意为：远界，如阁与山林之中，利用层高做二层，一楼为开放式洗浴空间。三号房，“匚”fāng。意为：容纳，家庭，融合。放一“匚”形木盒子，利用盒子上方做茶室。四号房，“丿” piě。意为：永恒，“光”是这个背景上存在的形象。做一条形天窗。洗浴盛于白色框体内。五号房，“丶”zhǔ。意为：停顿，旅途暂歇，相遇而安。六号房，“囗” wéi 。意为：围合，一炉暖火，长谈彻夜。朝内院开放，形成自由的组合空间。
Room 1. Marked with ‘一’ (yī, meaning completeness). The scenery does not stay long while the woods and hills, along with the alternation of seasons, are there for you forever. One low wall divides this room into bedroom and wet area. Room 2. Marked with ‘冂’ (jiōng, meaning remote boundaries). Associated with a pavilion in a mountain forest, the room is endowed, thanks to its unusual height, with an extra story and an opening area for shower and bath on the ground floor. Room 3. Marked with ‘匚’ (fang, meaning integration, family and fusion), this room has an added feature, i.e. a wooden box in the shape of “匚”, of which the top surface may be served as tea area. Room 4.Marked with ‘丿’ (piě, meaning eternity), this room is special for its strip-like skylight, and therefore taking ‘the light’ from ‘the high’ as its ‘highlight’. The bath facilities are installed within a white frame structure. Room 5. Marked with “丶” (zhǔ) which means a pause, a break in course of a journey, and a pleasant encounter.Room 6. Marked with “囗” (wéi, meaning enclosure, a long-night chat around the stove), this room is opened towards the inner courtyard, with a space allowing free combination.
▼二号房的开放式洗浴空间，the open area for shower and bath on the ground floor of room2