CHIN’s Hostel / VEIVE ARCHITECTS
Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea. —Yoshio Taniguchi. The project is located in Xiangjian Village, Lin’an, Hangzhou., and served as an important intersection of the Huihang Ancient Trail. At the time, it was a meeting point welcomed by all villagers nearby, and that’s where the name “Xiangjian” come from, meaning to encounter or to meet. CHIN’s Hostel is a “shelter” in the mountain and countryside. She is neither luxurious nor simple, but with details showing the traces of life everywhere. She encourages residents to come out of the city, and go to the countryside to meet nature, explore nature, gather, and make friends…
This is a rather unique project, where the original site was the lower concrete frame of the rural viewing platform. The design needs to use the frame structure of the overhead part to add new functions while retaining the feature of the viewing platform to meet the needs of gatherings, activities, accommodations,s and exhibitions in one compound space. The designer hopes to provide a new attempt to reuse the idle rural debris space through this practice. The scheme starts from a simple idea of following the site context, deliberates on the architectural form, establishes a close connection between the structure and the organic nature, adopts the “light intervention” strategy, coordinates the relationship between the old and new structures, minimizes ecological disturbance, and injects humanity and universality, creating a rhythmic, flowing, quiet space and presenting the tranquil quality of dimensional peace.
The exterior facade is a clear expression of the space and the main structure, and the sequential and rich functional spaces are distributed on the main traffic flow lines. In terms of functional planning, according to the principle of dynamic and static divisions, public facilities such as cafes or restaurants, event halls, outdoor courtyards, and service spaces are arranged on the first floor, and the second floor is dedicated to accommodation and living areas. The first floor and the second floor are connected by a transparent external staircase, forming a transformation of sight experience from indoor to outdoor and then returning to the indoor. Maximizing the use of the current basic conditions and construction successfully reduces the total amount of the project workload and carbon emissions. The red-brown travertine outer skin filled in the reinforced concrete structure frame increases the temperature of the building, and at the same time, it makes the building more eye-catching in the mixed and disorderly mountains and plains, with a natural sense of presence without carving.
Considering the integration and circulation of the interior and exterior environment of the building, it presents an overall environmental awareness. The large-scale landscape glass windows not only provide sufficient natural lighting for the interior space but also allow residents to overlook the beautiful scenery of the mountains in The Grand Canyon of West Zhejiang. The reconstructed viewing platform is the same as before. The designer opened up a passage for the new building from the other end, climbing down from the village road, and a forest trail and a reddish-brown retaining wall guide the direction. Entering along the trail and retaining wall, the nearby walnut forest and the distant mountains provide a rich and changing view of the landscape. Slowly, the entrance of the building emerges from the curved turning point of the retaining wall, as if it is the prelude to entering the interior space.
The entrance is surrounded by a curved retaining wall and a steel ceiling to form a fan-shaped gray space. One side of the ceiling door eyebrow is pushed outward to form an angle with the outer wall, 90 degrees to the wall, which optimized the smoothness of visual flow. The foyer has a high ceiling and it is used as a display space for artists’ works. The space and sight line is connected with the aisle on the second floor, increasing the interaction between the upper and lower spaces. The hall is an open space, connected to the terrace and the outdoor courtyard. All service functions are hidden in the 18-meter-long cabinet to ensure that the public space is simple, orderly, and integrated, and it also provides convenient basic capabilities for hosting different gatherings and events.
The second floor is the living area, which is composed of the accommodation area and the washing area. The washing area is equipped with washing and dryer machines for residents to use. The accommodation area consists of four quadruple rooms and one eight-person room, with a total of 24 beds.