2. November 2018
The Yuansu resort in the hot springs of the Wuyi mountains, the central part of Zhejiang province, China, aims to be part of the local community by attracting day-trippers. At the same time, it wants to offer its guests staying in one of the villas a sense of ‘being alone in nature’. Beijing-based designers CLOU architects has been tasked to design the 15.000 square meters boutique mountain resort which includes over 80 villas
Following the winding path along the valley creeks, CLOU has designed a chain of amenity pavilions that bridge across the valley, which define thresholds and zones within the masterplan. ‘The masterplan explores the parallel relationship of architecture and water, offering a bodily and profound experience to the guests,’ says Jan F. Clostermann, the director of CLOU. The main road flows into an open fishing pavilion spanning over the river — it is intended to maintain the river as a local fishing ground and to offer this practice as a part of the guest experience. Next up is a welcome pavilion connecting the hilly banks of the creek where guests park their cars and continue on foot or buggy. This building houses a café and flower shop, demarcating the public area of the resort. The welcome pavilion frames the view of other amenities on site, including local crafts shops, galleries, a tea tree maze, multi-purpose halls, tea houses, and a chinese restaurant. The reception building bridges across the center of the lake at the mountain root, creating a more private zone beyond where the guest villas and services are located. The open plan concept of the concrete building seeks to provide a sense of informality between guests and staff. In the best tradition of brutalist concrete architecture, it presents an open ‘neutral space’ for guests to inhabit while encouraging a casual holiday lifestyle. The pavilion includes check-in areas, a bar, and an all-day dining restaurant with a large terrace cantilevering over the water. The spa pavilion is located in the eastern valley above a natural hot spring — pathways on an existing clearing at the south side of the lake connect a natural swimming pool with public spa buildings, a library, a children’s center, and a group of nine tea house pavilions. Meanwhile, the ambition for the accommodations was to ensure the most privacy and an uninterrupted view of untouched nature. Built on slopes of up to 45 degrees, the villas are two-level concrete frames accommodating a separate living room, bedroom, and an exterior natural hot spring bath.
Images: Courtesy of CLOU