Sincere Hotel, Wuxi, China by Benzhe Architecture

Originate from history, return to nature

Project Specs


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This project is located at the foot of Nanchan Temple in Wuxi, among a cluster of civilian houses near Qingming Bridge at the bank of an ancient canal; hence the name “Sincere Hotel ,Wuxi”. With the changes of times and the renewal of city, Benzhe deconstructs the new meaning of guesthouse architecture while inheriting the essence of historical and cultural heritage.

▼建筑外观,exterior view ©苏圣亮

▼正门,main entrance ©苏圣亮


▼建筑的街道视角,street view of the building ©苏圣亮

At its original site is a typical traditional “three-entry” courtyard, which is lower in the front and higher in the back with a conservative style. The old architecture is closed in its surrounding, with relatively poor indoor lighting and safety hazards hidden in its narrow corridor. After transformation, the primitive simplicity and elegance of this southern-style courtyard has been preserved—white walls and black tiles are still there and water flows beneath a little bridge, while more open space has been added. Modern design elements including iron rust plate, simple floor-to-ceiling glass and unique guidance system have endowed this ancient mansion with new vitality.

▼阳台细部,balcony details ©苏圣亮


Thick cob walls at the main entrance are demolished to set aside two spaces on the left and right, while the box-like space formed by floor-to-ceiling windows extends forward, which gives the previously flat entrance a layered sense. Fine wood grilled windows have replaced the closed and gloomy old windows, and a unity of opposites is formed between its transformed front façade and the cluster of old civilian houses. The concrete three-way box casted as a whole at the front entrance connects reception, diner and courtyard. The diner consists of tatami, seats for individual customers and water bar, and has an open and layered view.

▼入口空间,土墙后退,形成盒子般的落地窗,main entrance, the walls are demolished to create a box-like French window ©苏圣亮

▼盒子落地窗后的酒店接待区,reception area  behind the box-like French window ©苏圣亮


▼外路径, the outer path ©苏圣亮

▼内路径由前台通向餐厅,曲径通幽,the  inner path,leading to a secluded quiet place ©苏圣亮

During the creation of the passage from reception to rooms, two mutually independent paths are cleverly designed. The inner path runs from reception to diner, and then makes a detour to rooms, which leaves the impression of a winding path leading to a secluded quiet place. The outer path goes directly from reception to rooms behind the second entrance, and sinks below the water surface, thus resulting in the illusion of people walking in water. The teahouse floating on water creates a real sense of reclusion and serenity.

▼连接接待区和客房的水景庭院,waterscape connecting reception and guest room area ©苏圣亮


After the second entrance is the guestroom area of hotel. The original lotus pond is retained in the courtyard, and the walkway is widened to leave enough space around the pond for frolicking and watching fish. The guesthouse has 16 rooms of varied styles, which encircle this charming aquatic courtyard like 16 lustrous pearls. The rooms are named 「Su」, 「Fan」, 「Bo」, 「Ze」, 「Han」, 「Hao」, 「Run」, 「Yang」, 「Zhan」, 「Hong」, 「Du」, 「Tian」, 「Yi」, 「Dan」, 「Che」 and 「Cheng」, which are all characters with the “water” radical. Water is intelligent, and also the source of life; to observe water is to look into heart. Featuring plain white rock wall, dark brown log and Cycladic-style arch, [Su] and[Du] are retro and nostalgic, leaving a unique imprint on the space.

▼房间“溯”,guest room [Su] ©苏圣亮


Room [Run] and [Yang] are two loft-style duplexes of the hotel. The contrast between frosted stainless steel and log and primitive naked wall as well as the rhythmic ordering of space reflect the sense of order of deconstructionism. Besides, [Yang] has shown great ingenuity in creating a suspended mesh-like rest area, which appears novel and unique and makes an interesting experience.

▼loft大跃层房,loft-style duplexes of the hotel ©苏圣亮


Based on industrial style, [Fan] and[Hong] convey a restrained and coldly elegant sense of beauty with neat lines, naked walls of original color and metal, while geometric shapes and constitutive property constitute a neutral and pure space experience, which is rough and unconventional yet with no lack of fineness.

▼房间,体现工业风格,guest rooms based on industrial style ©苏圣亮

▼客房区中部的中式院落,Chinese courtyard in the middle of guest room area ©苏圣亮


The transformed backyard has unique interest and charm; the Zen of Japanese rock garden creates an indifferent and tranquil atmosphere. The new concrete wall and staircase linked up to the original gable are naked and cold. As one ascends the stairs, sunlight comes in through round holes, which brings out the greatest beauty of light and shadow.

▼后院,backyard ©苏圣亮

▼后院通往二楼的楼梯和细部,staircase to the second floor in the backyard and details ©苏圣亮

▼夜景,night view ©苏圣亮


Originating from history and returning to nature, Sincere Hotel,Wuxi,creates a realm of harmony and mutual understanding between architecture, mankind and nature.

▼一层平面图,floor plan of first floor ©本哲建筑

▼二层平面图,floor plan of second floor ©本哲建筑

▼正面立面图,elevation of front façade ©本哲建筑

▼侧面立面图,elevation of side façade ©本哲建筑

▼后院立面图,elevation of backyard façade ©本哲建筑

设计团队:姚瑞艮 林桐
摄影:苏圣亮 / 是然建筑摄影

Project name: Sincere Hotel,Wuxi
Owner: Dukou Space (Wuxi) Hotel Management Co., Ltd.
Project site: 135 South Xiatang Street, Liangxi District, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China
Designed by: Shanghai Benzhe Architecture Design Co., Ltd.
Company website:
Floor area: 1280m²
Main plan architect: Jiang Huajian
Design team: Yao Ruigen, Lin Tong
Design time: February-May, 2019
Construction time: May 2019
Completion time: February 2020
Graphic design by: Benzhe Architecture Design
Photo by: Su Shengliang, SCHRANArchitectural Photography

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