The project text humbly tells of the team’s aim to return the site to its rural integrity and local traditional building ways, away from the usual domination of design techniques. Yet the contemporary intervention succeeds in creating a strong independent design expression which successfully augments and strengthens the beauty of the site itself. The structures and plantings merge in creating densely atmospheric spaces.- from the LILA Jury statements
Cloud of Hometown is a hotel located in an old village in the chain of Mount Tai. Different from the vitality of the whole mountain range, the village is gradually deserted and decayed for economic backwardness and population migration, and the forests were left with rotten tress and dead branches.
On this basis, in this renovation design we discuss how to adhere to the concept of “building on the ground” in the process, Emphasize on de-designing and the way created by local craftsmen to regenerate abandoned hillsides and declining villages. Imitate the way of natural plant communities to restore mountain vegetation, and man-made landscape structures are carefully integrated into nature, planning to use the most natural and simple language to eliminate the design traces. We hope that it would look like the natural evolution of the rural landscape, and truly integrate into the life of the residents and the history of the village.
Firstly, we respect the terrain and the original village texture, while keeping the original street texture and big trees to the greatest extent, and reducing the damage of the site to the minimum. We make full use of local materials and traditional skills to restore the simple rural landscape, and examined the local culture in a modern way and a unique perspective.
The stone, brick, wood and other materials used in the site are all from the old abandoned house. It not only saves energy and resources, but also creates a landscape with unique historical traces of the site. We also invite the local craftsmen to build it in an ancient handmade way, from the slate road to the steps to the low wall. Behind every landscape with handmade traces, the rich experience and insights of designers and local craftsmen are combined.
The design consolidates the soil through retaining wall, and replants native plants such as Celtis sinensis Persoon, Chinese Photinia, Chinese Pennisetum, which ensures the forest vegetation and plant diversity, repairs the sparse and degraded mountain forest environment and the internal environment of the site. The natural ecological woodland structure is more complete, recreating the beauty of natural landscapes.
In this era of pursuing speed and assembly line, we adhered to the original belief, and emphasized that the whole mountain should return to its original nature, get rid of the so-called design composition of point, line and surface, and activate the rural space with the craftsman like construction without design sense, so that it can slowly undergo the baptism of the years.
Chief Architect: Fanhao Meng
Lead Designer: Shangyang Li
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Jianbo Jin, Xiaomei Chi, Chenjuan Su
Dongximen Village, Daiyue District, Tai’an, Shandong, China
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2019