Situ Phoenix Island Hotel Renovation / ZhiXing Architects + Yongxinherui Engineering Consulting
Current situation. The project is located in Zhexi Reservoir, Anhua County, Hunan Province. The project used to be a wood factory with a history of more than 60 years. In the last two decades, due to the decline of the logging company, it was abandoned and became a disused facility in the countryside. In 2019, it was acquired by Anhua Meishan City Investment Group Co., Ltd. established, invested and converted into a supportive homestay along the lake ring of the Zhexi Reservoir Scenic Area. It hopes to revitalize the untapped resources in rural areas through design and transformation, and then promote local village revitalization and tourism development. The site consists of five vacant buildings, namely the office building (Building 1) of the original timber company, the restaurant (Building 2), the dormitory (Buildings 3 and 5) and the pigsty (Building 4). Due to the large construction area and limited cost, we intend to use the principles of low cost, minimal intervention and best use of the situation to carry out the renovation and use from the point of view of rational distribution of the renovation budget. The five buildings find their appropriate functional positioning according to the respective positional relationship, the landscape conditions and the morphological features.
genius loci If you look at the buildings separately, the existing buildings unfold in a zigzag shape on the site, the existing spatial experience is relatively monotonous; Many tall redwoods on the site and the building together enclose a quiet, introverted courtyard with soft borders to extend the viewing area to the entire site. The space enclosed by these tall trees is impressive. Therefore, we hope to strengthen this introverted location temperament with a corridor room, so that more residents can perceive this introverted and quiet room atmosphere; We set up a mirrored pool in the middle of the corridor, hoping that by reflecting on the water surface, it will reveal the space above the courtyard to the residents and direct the residents’ gaze upwards to appreciate the tall and straight beauty of the High to watch Dawn Redwood.
The corridor system enriches the choice of traffic flow lines for residents and transforms the building complex’s originally monotonous rectilinear streamline into a more tangible, return-shaped streamline. It relieves the functions along the way through the uniform streamline, relieves the traffic pressure of the trunk line and protects the privacy of the hotel guests. According to the current position of the dawn redwood trees on the site, the shape of the corridor is twisted and closed, creating multiple patios and courtyards of different shapes, offering guests a richer and more interesting tour experience. And the horizontal extension of the corridor also reinforces the presence of the vertical form of the Dawn Redwood trees.
Lighthouse on the water. After investigating on site, we found a collapsed house foundation near the waterfront. After verification by the relevant personnel of the original timber company, it was confirmed that a house stood here, and this site has become a rare site with new building conditions. Due to poor road conditions around the site, boating has become the most sensible and interesting way to log on to the peninsula. We hope this waterfront building will become the check-in lobby and water bar for the peninsula and a landmark like a lighthouse. At the same time, this building aims to offer visitors a visual focus between mountains and rivers, creating a sense of anticipation of landing on the island.
In the land area of the waterfront lobby, there are many tall redwoods blocking the magnificent scenery of the river. The owner once wanted to cut down all of the morning redwoods to open up the view of the landscape, but the lush morning redwoods have also given the site a unique place feature. Through communication with the owner, we got most of the sequoias. The distribution points of the morning redwoods determine the contour of the building. Through multiple surveying and mapping and repeated layouts, the final lobby construction was successfully “plugged” into the gaps in the Dawn Redwood trees. Some of the inevitable trees were not cut down but responded with terraces and hallways, achieving the interspersed symbiosis of trees and water bar.
structure and landscape. “Keep the original appearance as much as possible, and the area can only be increased, but not decreased.” This is an important factor emphasized by the timber company and the owner in early design communication. The original building is a brick concrete structure. Due to the limitations on room size of the original office building and the limited bay windows and depths, we extended an area along the façade to break the limitations of the original structure and present a more open spatial image. The expanded area will maximize the introduction of natural exterior views into the interior, creating a relaxing, exterior-facing space in each guest room.
memories and stories. The lumber factory has experienced ups and downs over the past 60 years. The site’s fence gates and tile murals have all seen historical changes. Keeping the original elements of the website and activating the status quo at the least cost is the expectation of the customer, and it is also an inevitable choice for a low-budget project. After locating the site gates, walls, murals and trees, we actively used these site elements in the subsequent design. Many fragments, considered by the building party to have “unlimited value”, were nearly demolished several times during construction due to “faults”. After repeated communication in the process, they were finally retained. We hope that when guests experience the renovated homestay, they will still be able to capture the footprints of the people and events that were left on the site from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, and along with those footprints, continue to tell the history of the place .