Project NameSpring Huts in Tangshan
|Project Name||Spring Huts in Tangshan||Location||
Nanjing Jiangsu ShengChina
Nestled into the forested foothills of Tangshan Mountain outside Nanjing, China, the four cabins that Shanghai-based architectural practice MONOARCHI have designed for a local hotel harmoniously blend into the natural landscape offering guests an immersive experience suffused with nature’s primal beauty and meditative sensibility. Rather than clearing space for the cabins, the team adapted their design to fit into the spots that nature allowed for - echoing natural forms, the sinuous, timber-clad volumes discretely unfold amongst the site’s trees and boulders, both of which were left entirely intact. Similarly nature-inspired, the sculptural interiors are swathed in an oak veneer, giving the impression that you’ve stepped into a hollow tree house, albeit one of minimalist sophistication and exquisite detail. Dominated by the carefully framed views of the forest, the monastic cabins offer a calming refuge in close communion with nature as well as demonstrate the project’s environmental credentials.
Tangshan is famous for its hot springs which have been attracting visitors since antiquity as numerous 6th century poems attest. Combined with the scenic landscape, historical sites and proximity to a major city like Nanjing, the area has become of late a major tourism destination featuring numerous spa resorts and other leisure facilities. Contrary to the glitzy opulence and large scale of most tourist developments however, MONOARCHI’s four cabins are compact in size and understated in elegance, allowing the surrounding nature to take centre stage.
The architects drew inspiration from natural elements to design the cabins and the winding path that connects them. While the two smaller cabins are shaped like vine leaves, the footprint of the two larger ones resembles tree branches, with the path echoing the veins of a leaf as it makes its way around trees and boulders up and down the hilly terrain. Located deep in the woods, the cabins are clad externally in charred wood, their dark exterior making them disappear amid the densely wooded spots that they occupy. On the contrary, the other two cabins have been built on rocky clearings and are clad in cedar shingles, the natural wood texture complementing their prominent positions.
The nature-inspired aesthetic of the timber-clad exteriors is carried on in the cabin interiors, enveloped as they are in oak surfaces, from hardwood floors to veneer-clad walls and ceilings. The extensive use of wood imbues the spaces with warmth and complements the immersive forest views, courtesy of large floor-to-ceiling glazing, which stand out amid the minimalist décor. It also allowed the designers to seamlessly fuse floor, walls and ceiling by eliminating all hard edges. Add the rounded corners and the built-in wooden furniture that organically grows out of the building fabric and you get uniquely sculptural interiors that convey the sensation that they have been carved out of an enormous tree trunk.
At the largest cabin, a white terrazzo paved terrace features a refreshing pool for warmer days, while the addition of a skylight on one of the smaller cabins offers glimpses of the starry sky at night. All in all, these exceptional accommodations provide the perfect opportunity to leave behind the stress of city life and truly relax in the bosom of Tangshan’s pristine nature.