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The hostel's name, 'SOM LAND,' comes from the traditional Chinese colour warm green, which is found between the mottled gaps in the tree shadows. This colour represents a state of relaxation and a slow-paced life. SOM LAND, located on Shanghai's Chongming Island, is a resort space in harmony with the natural countryside and combines local customs and handicrafts. Regarding overall space arrangement and planning, SOM LAND focuses on nature and humanistic traditions. The site encounters water on both sides and is adjacent to Laoji Port and Hongmei Road, surrounded by national shelter forests and rivers. Therefore, properly integrating with the natural environment is the primary consideration in the design. For the two old houses on-site, we adopted a protective renovation method for the overall design based on the requirements of Chongming's local building regulations (the renovation should follow the original building height and the vertical shadow range).  The old two-floor building has been renovated into a three-floor accommodation building; the original tool hose has been transformed into the reception building for the overall resort. The interior of the building is re-planned by "increasing the number of floors," "adjusting the layout of rooms," and "relocation of stairs." In contrast, the exterior of the building is re-designed for "roof shape," "windows location and size," and "external wall decoration," etc. For designers, space renovation projects often require more careful consideration. Because the original building has problems, it is necessary to adjust the old and inappropriate space layout and add new design strategies to reconstruct it to match the new requirements. Therefore, reflecting the "SOMLAND" idea, we chose "moderate restraint" as the most critical direction when renovating the two old buildings. A total of 552 square meters of space in the accommodation building mainly provides resort room functions. While keeping the height of the original building unchanged, the height of each floor was optimized, and the actual 2-floor structure was changed to 3 floors, increasing the number of rooms. At the same time, to maximize the view of the room, we relocated the original staircase to the middle of the north side of the building to optimize the moving line and support the best visual view for resort guests. After we raised the main building by one floor and adjusted the position of the stairs, we hoped to invite sunlight to the rooms and spaces of the whole floor. So, in addition to the best sunlight from the south, the staircase, with its top of transparent glass and steel frame structure, allows sunlight to fall naturally into the room corridor. Also, the quantity and size of the original windows are preserved and organically distributed on the facade of the new building, retaining the visual symbolism of the old building. After the renovation, the original tool house's new function became a kitchen, a multi-functional activity area (dining, baking, music show, etc.), a reception, and two restrooms. We first use a transparent glass and wood frame structure with a folding door system to extend the western space and bring more natural light into it. Then, the most eye-catching thing in the interior space is the old brick fireplace placed under the curved bamboo ceiling. In addition to the fireplace's actual heating function, various functional activities are available around it. The transparent glass structure on the top also attracts light, and the visual sense of sunlight passing through the laminated bamboo slate curve also shows the warmth of the four seasons. It is also a characteristic point that echoes the accommodation building. Using reed poles as roofs is an old local architectural craft. In the past, reed poles were an easy-to-collect local material for the natural environment and sheltered from wind and rain. In our practice, we tried to recall the traditional way of manual binding to build a roof of reed poles. Therefore, we hope to bring out the first impression of the sustainable concept and practice of earth materials returning to nature.  In the overall space, whether the planning of the renovation of the old houses or the materials used on the roof and the outer wall and recycled roof tiles of the reception counter, the design treatment is to provide hotel guests with a warm and relaxing vacation with a deeper understanding of the local style of the environment.

Typology

Hostel 

Area

Building: 632 m2

Landscape : 1440 m2

Scope

Architecture

Interior design

Lighting design

Furniture design

Landscape design

Photographer

Wen Studio

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