From the very beginning of design at the end of 2015, it took four and a half years for Næra Hotel Xitang to open to business in late August 2019. A tranquil place far from noise and crowds, drawing inspiration from the basic characteristics of Xitang’s local architectural culture, Næra Hotel is infused with contemporary art, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, music, poetry and performance art, and adopts the organic culinary culture created by the original eco-friendly villages in local area, with the aim of rebuilding a new image for modern resort hotels.
▼项目概览，overall view ©章勇
▼鸟瞰图，aerial view ©业主摄影师
Næra Hotel, occupying a total floor area of 40,000 square meters (with an underground area of 20,000 m2 ), is situated at the core area of the east district of Xitang, with Xitang Ancient Town to its west and Zhenguan Road to the east. It embraces 4,000-sqaura-meter Water Courtyard – Summer Courtyard, where 164 guest rooms, the reception area, the swimming pool, the SPA, the tea room, the reading room, the bar, the international conference center (banquet hall), the all-day dining restaurant, and the Japanese restaurant are available.
The traditional architecture in Xitang features such basic elements as grey tiles, white walls, blue bricks and wooden structures. The town is noted for its sophisticated network of riverways and narrow streets. During peak hours, tourists are too crowded to move smoothly and could hardly find a place to have a rest. Thus, our design starts out to fulfill a purpose, that is, to provide a space make it up in the ancient town. The hotel is a land of silence and peace located in a noisy and bustling town. Tourists who feel tired after touring around the town would be able to stop for a rest in the hotel.
▼喧闹古镇中的安静一隅，a peaceful place embedded in the noisy town ©章勇
▼水庭院，water courtyard ©章勇
Although it is mandatory that the hotel’s architectural style should inherit that of Xitang Ancient Town, we do not want the local elements to be mere formality. Instead, we intend to use traditional materials to embody a modern space. We embedded courtyards and gardens built by traditional materials in regional architecture in South China to it, and let the light in, thus infusing a timely and historical perspective to the traditional yet modern space.
▼酒店入口，hotel entrance ©章勇
▼入口立面，entrance facade ©章勇
The busy streets of the ancient town form the network of belts, which serve as the boundary between the riverways and buildings. In contrast, the ground floor of Næra Hotel where tourists can take a walk is ring-shaped space, which divides the water courtyard and hotel building. It is a tranquil place filled with the songs of birds and water, where tourists can have a walk, appreciate the landscape or enjoy sightseeing in a relaxed atmosphere.
▼水庭院与酒店建筑的边界空间，the walkway divides the water courtyard and hotel building ©章勇
▼功能空间围绕水庭院布置，the programme is arranged around the water courtyard ©章勇
A sight-seeing pavilion, library, tea room, flower room and bar are well arranged around the water courtyard in a similar way as how pavilions, corridors, mansions and terraces are erected in a traditional Chinese garden. The water courtyard breaks the boundary between the indoor and outdoor, allowing the two spaces to penetrate into each other and become interdependent. The physical boundaries among the architecture, people, water and trees also disappear, forming a whole landscape. Tradition and modernity become united, with the white walls, grey tiles and black wood stripes from history living in a modern architecture. Even the historical characteristic and cultural position of the water courtyard is no longer restricted to being the traditional and oriental. Instead, it takes on the western and modern style.
▼客房庭院，courtyard of the guest room ©业主摄影师
Walking in the space, the tourists would feel like strolling in a painting, with layers and layers of landscapes unfolded before their eyes. The artworks decorating the space serve both the functional and aesthetic purposes, which echoes with the design concept of Næra Hotel – a cultural landmark taking root in the traditional eco-friendly Chinese town.
▼交通节点：刘建华《碑》+ 曲丰国《四季-春》 ，circulation node, with artworks by Jianhua Liu and Fengguo Qu ©章勇
We have to take into account the mandatory requirements of local government in our design, i.e. land size and planned height. The restrictions on architectural style imposed by the government prompted us to re-consider the local elements and modern concepts while the limited land leaves little room for us to pursue innovation in the architectural appearance, thus forcing us to create a building that does not impress people with its pleasant appearance. During our design, we received the support and help from the proprietor Mr. and Mrs. Zhu, interior designer Ju Bing and the landscape designer Mr. Zhuang Zhenguang. I have learned and benefited much from their generosity and went beyond the boundaries that limited my conception of architectural design. Here I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to them.
▼水庭院局部，water courtyard partial view ©章勇
▼场地平面图，site plan ©以靠建筑
建筑设计：李以靠／以靠建筑 Leeko Studio
室内设计：琚宾／水平线设计 Horizontal Design
景观设计：庄镇光／太璞设计 TOPO Design Group
灯光顾问：Albert Martin Klaasen / Klaasen Lighting Design
业主方：智杕控股 业主代表：陆朋 陈鑫
设计时间：11/2015 – 10/2017
建造时间：10/2017 – 08/2019
Project name: Næra Hotel Xitang
Project site: the Ancient Town of Xitang, Jiashan County Zhejiang Province
Site design: Ju Bin, Li Yikao, Zhuang Zhenguang, Zhu Shulei
Architectural design: Li Yikao/Leeko Studio
Interior design: Ju Bin/Horizontal Design
Landscape design: Zhuang Zhenguang/TOPO Design Group
Artistic adviser: Ding Yi
Lighting adviser: Albert Martin Klaasen / Klaasen Lighting Design
Floral designer: Ueno Yuji
Photograph by: Zhang Yong
Designer group: Huang Wei, Zhang Dejun, Chen Kaili, Wu Kai, Liao Wang, Qiu Xiaolin, Jia Dianxin
Interior design group: Wei Jinjing, Sheng Lingxiang, Yang Yixi, Luo Fanyu, Ge Danni, Guo Dayu, Nie Hongming, Hu Kai, Liu Xiaolin, Li Junhua, Lin Jianxu, Quan Junrui, Zhang Luokai, Xie Gang, Wen Biyun, Mo Zhibing
Landscape design group: Li Hongtai, Chen Lingfeng, Yang Lijia, Sun Shaobo, Zheng Sijie, Geng Dalei, Jin Hui, Li Xiaohui, Fang Bilian, Ouyang Hongbo
Furniture and product designer: Zhang Xuanrong, Dong Shiyu, Zhang Zhexiong/Horizontal Design
Mechanical and electrical adviser: Lin Sen, Chen Yanwen, Li Haijia, Wang Jialin, Liu Haoshuang, He Ting/Shenzhen Jiashi Electromechanical Engineering Design Co., Ltd.
Resident designer: Hu Kai, Li Junhua/Horizontal Design
Artist (works exhibited in hotel): Ding Yi, Liu Jianhua, Qu Fengguo, Xue Song, Xiao Changzheng, Zheng Zaidong, Xu Bing, Wang Yi, Jiang Youbo, Su Chang, Piao Zhongxun, Luo Fahui, Liu Wei, Liu Dahong, He Duoling, Yang Fudong, Zhou Chunya, Xue Feng, Wu Wei
Local design institution: GK Design Shanghai Inc.
Proprietor: Tuntex Holding Proprietor’s representative: Lu Peng, Chen Xin
Material: glass, wood grille, painting, grey tiles, terrazzo, wood veneer and bamboo weaving
Construction area: 40000 m2
Duration of design: November 2015 to October 2017
Duration of construction: October 2017 to August 2019