Program: A 136,000-square-foot, 121-bedroom resort on a 65-acre private nature reserve. Located about two and a half hours from Shanghai, in Zhejiang Province, the project draws on African and Asian construction styles with conference facilities, a spa, three swimming pools, horse stables, a clubhouse, a restaurant, a teahouse, and a yoga pavilion.
Design concept and solution: Fusing nature and luxury, the architects wanted the reserve's guest rooms to feel like an extension of the landscape. The rooms take the form of individual tree-top villas (concentrated on the west side of the site) and huts (primarily on the east side), all arranged in curving rows that blend in with the hillside and trees. The African-style huts—rammed-earth rondavels with bamboo thatch roofs—are made from local mud with colorful striations of yellow, orange, and red. For the tree-top villas, Ben Wood Studio used prefabricated structural insulated panels; floor-to-ceiling windows look onto the valley below. On the north side of the site, the architects housed the reserve's educational and cultural facilities (which include the teahouse and a pottery studio) in round bamboo structures echoing the Chinese vernacular. The interiors of the guest rooms mix African and Asian influences, with bamboo and wood flooring, stucco walls, and cowhide rugs.
Completion Date: September 2011
Owner: naked Group
Ben Wood Studio Shanghai
119 Madang Road, Room 302
Xintiandi, PRC 200021
CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad 2010
Earth Huts Walls: