For us today, taking a break from the “old world” from time to time is a way to restore peace and order. While the geographical concept of “far away” has become more accessible than ever, the vacation experience from the body to the mind rarely happens. How do you create this relaxing experience? “is the priority issue left to the designer.
Hylla Cloud Nature Experience Center, also known as the “Red House”, is located in the gentle slope of Yanjiao Village, Baisha Town, Lijiang, Yunnan Province. It is a natural living scene experience place in Hylla Land. On one side, it looks up at the snow-capped mountains and glaciers, on another side; it overlooks the village and countryside. Except for one side of the countryside, the other three sides are closely surrounded by the complete canopy line extending from the Mount Zhishan. In front of the project, there are lawns, water pools and trees, high and low, successively arranged; behind the house is a natural canal, across the water from the main building of the hotel. In this specific site, the architect uses his own unique interpretation of the “local”, not restricted to the existing experience and the public label, have caused a “casual” building to break through the ground.
▼项目概览，general view © 潘杰
▼鸟瞰，aerial view © 杨光坤
“Cloud” like free structure
▼总平面图，site plan © gad
Vacation is to find time of relaxation, and Yunnan itself is in an ideal state of relaxation. From the architect’s observation, Yunnan’s traditional buildings are built with great freedom: the old craftsmen had no specific design or strict planning. They might suddenly pile a stone mill into the wall, and they didn’t care whether the edges and surfaces were properly handled… It’s all about randomness, imagination and carelessness. In this context, the architect felt that the project should also be treated a little more relaxed.
▼屋顶视角，roof top view © 潘杰
The weather in Lijiang is always sunny, and the shadow under the clouds will always become a natural shading field for people. And the cloud, naturally, represents this relaxed, unfettered state. Instead, the design team used a “cloud” as the roof of the building, allowing it to wander naturally and find its own boundary: when you come across trees scattered on the site, step back a little, and when there is a gap, stretch in more. It naturally expands and stretches, forming the plane form of the building from the overlooking perspective.
▼建筑外观，exterior view © 潘杰
▼檐下空间，the covered space © 潘杰
“云朵”投下的阴影自然就是建筑的空间。受 KaareKlint 1933年设计Safari 户外椅结构原理的启发，建筑师让建筑的支撑结构随着地形的高低起伏而调整，每个边的长度既不固定，也不一致，根据场地条件的变化而变化。整体像是趴伏在草地上的巨大帐篷。这样的结构也与业主对于该建筑的功能定位相呼应。项目场地周围既有平整的草地，又有天然水泊和林地，自然状态下就是露营的好去处。一个“帐篷”形状的营地建筑自带户外感。
▼建筑形体分析图gif，massing diagram gif. © gad
The shadow cast by the “clouds” is naturally the space of the building. Inspired by Kaareklint’s 1933 design for the structure of the outdoor chairs in Safari, the architects allowed the building’s supporting structure to adjust to the ups and down of the terrain. The length of each side is neither fixed nor consistent, and varies according to site conditions. It looks like a huge tent lying on the grass. This structure also responds to the client’s functional orientation of the building. The site is surrounded by a combination of flat grassland, natural water and woodland, making it a great place for camping in its natural state. A tent-shaped camp building comes with an outdoor sense.
▼一片“云”作为建筑的屋顶，a “cloud” as the roof of the building © 潘杰
▼趴伏在草地上的巨大帐篷，a huge tent lying on the grass © Hylla 雷坛坛
Use of natural materials
In addition to being structurally comfortable, the architecture materials of the Cloud Nature Experience Center also seem to be “handy”. The floor and walls are integrated, all made of the same kind of local stone from Lijiang. There is no redundant decoration for the interior and exterior of the building and it has honestly exposed the original color and texture of the stone. The stones, produced only in the local village of Guifeng, have a very distinctive flamingo-like pink color. Due to the extensive use of this stone material, the whole building forms a strong color contrast with the wild Yunnan environment and the rustic charm of the site. The casual name “Red House” has been thus derived from word of mouth among the workers.
▼地面和墙体连成一体，都用同一种产自丽江本地的石头砌成 © 潘杰
The floor and walls are integrated, all made of the same kind of local stone from Lijiang
When the design team visited the site, they noticed that there were a lot of old pieces of wood on the ground, so they directly recycled them and spliced them into a roof. The edges are not deliberately aligned, and the manual traces are kept in different lengths, which is another response to the “careless” survival philosophy of Yunnan.
▼回收的旧木头错落拼接成屋顶，recycled pieces of wood were spliced into a roof © 潘杰
However, taking materials “casually” doesn’t mean the construction process is easy. In today’s highly developed machine operation, in order to maintain the natural texture of the stone, each stone used in the building was chiseled by a mason with a tool.
▼建筑细节，detailed view © 潘杰
For the architects, the construction of this building is like cooking molecular cuisine: take local materials and make something that is not local. In the end, the architect has used simple materials and uncomplicated methods to make it a modern building that conforms to the local spirit, interacts with nature, and has a sense of design and feeling.
▼走廊和阶梯细节，corridor and stair details © 潘杰
Encourage an open experience
In addition to being eclectic in appearance, another difference between the “red house” and traditional buildings is that there are no preset rules for its use. From the architect’s point of view, the building should not be proud to decide what the user should do in the building. “How to Experience” is an open text and the architect offers only possibilities.
▼开放性的体验，an open experience © 潘杰
First of all, the boundary between the building and nature is blurred, and users can freely choose the way they touch and feel nature. However, the architects believe that “locality” needs to be respected and the “stranger” identity of the experiencers should also be respected. For strangers, seeing snow-capped mountains is an important experience to gain a sense of difference.
▼从户外休息区望向雪山 © 潘杰
view to the snow-capped mountains from the outdoor seating area
The Red House was designed with a better view of the mountains in mind. Spreading the fun of the trip is also an important part of the overall vacation experience. So “how can I photograph the mountains better?” is also very important. A unique place to see the mountains is indispensable from the unique “fancy” view angles of the mountain and a variety of free mountain viewing poses.
▼多种自由的看山姿态， a variety of free mountain viewing poses © 潘杰
▼平面图，plan © gad
In terms of internal function differentiation, Cloud Nature Experience Center has not made more space restrictions in addition to the necessary separation of rest and activity area, bath area and storage room. The lounge area is an open space, is it a cafe, a bar, a retail center, or a sharing venue? How will you use it, it all depends on your needs. And the experiencer of the space can also choose to stay in the way they feel comfortable. With chairs, steps and roofs, you may sit or lie, or stand or idle about, follow your inclinations and respect the user’s subjectivity adequately.
▼户外休息区，outdoor seating area © 潘杰
▼室内休息活动区，lounge area © 潘杰
▼开放的场所包含多种功能，an open space aimed for different functions © 潘杰
The bathing space for camping is made of translucent glass tiles. Outside, you can see the blurry shapes of people in the bathroom, a bit like an airplane passing through a cloud. The bathroom environment and the shower system will simulate the effects of rainstorms in nature. There is no doubt that this is an experience full of uncertainty, and the designer is on the “unbridled” verge.
▼洗浴空间则半透明玻璃砖构筑，the bathing space for camping is made of translucent glass tiles © 潘杰
▼玻璃砖墙细节，glass brick wall details © 潘杰
Throughout the design and construction process, the architects did not rigidly seek and imitate the similarity of Yunnan’s local architectural forms. Instead, he made a building that looks nothing like the local architecture, but speaks directly to the inner spirit of the local architecture-natural and comfortable and relax as you please.
Returning to the question of “how can we create a relaxing experience for visitors”, the builders themselves relax first and wonder if it is also a path.
▼Hylla落云自然体验中心，Hylla Cloud Nature Experience Center © 潘杰
▼立面图，elevations © gad
完整团队成员：汤珺如 施懿媛 马佳 吕超豪 赵雨婷 马宇晴
建筑和室内硬装设计：程越 汤珺如 施懿媛 马佳 吕超豪 赵雨婷 马宇晴
现场营造团队：杨飞 黄清祥 胡秋锦 王佳蕾 饶飞 王侯
施工团队：戴金贵 廖海宾 韩傅俊 刘欢等
摄影师：潘杰 Hylla雷坛坛 杨光坤 程越 吴瑕 孙一文 杨飞
建筑材料：石材 回收木板 钢 玻璃砖
Project Name: Hylla Cloud Nature Experience Center
Location: Lijiang, Yunnan Province
Address: No. 99, Yanjiao Village, Baisha Town, Yulong County, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province
Project Type: Hotel/Camp center
Date of Design: August 2019
Date of Completion: June 2020
Project Scale: 538 ㎡
Design unit: gad
Project Creator: Yue Cheng
Team Members: Junru Tang, Yiyuan Shi, Jia Ma, Chaohao Lv, Yuting Zhao, Yuqing Ma
Architecture and Interior Decoration Design: Yue Cheng, Junru Tang, Yiyuan Shi, Jia Ma, Chaohao Lv, Yuting Zhao, Yuqing Ma
Structure design: Baozhong Li and Jie Huang
Water Supply and Drainage Design: Yongqing Cheng
HVAC Design: Yuanyuan Fang
Electrical Design: Xiaoyan Pan
Site Construction Team: Fei Yang, Qingxiang Huang, Qiujin Hu, Jialei Wang, Fei Rao, Hou Wang
Construction Team: Jingui Dai, Haibin Liao, Fujun Han, Huan Liu, etc.
Owner: HYLLA Land
Photographers: Jie Pan, Tantan Lei, Guangkun Yang, Yue Cheng, Xia Wu, Yiwen Sun, Fei Yang
Structure Technique: Masonry and Steel Structure
Building Materials: Stone, Recycled Wood, Steel, Glass Brick