Landezine
International
Landscape
Award
2021 Winner in the Hospitality category:
Hylla Cloudfall Nature Lounge

Hylla Cloudfall Nature Lounge is located in Yanjiao Village, Baisha Town, Lijiang, Yunnan Province. This The site is located lies at the foot of Mount Zhi, of the extension of Snow-capped Yulong Mountain, facing directly to the its famous Snow-capped Yulong Mountain Glacier in the north and surrounded by an intact forest canopy skyline extending from the mountain; on the east side, it overlooks the UNESCO World Heritage Site Baisha Town World Heritage Baisha Ancient Town and the idyllic expanse scenery of Lijiang intermountain Damflatland.

Since this project is located in a sub-plateau with strong sunshine all the year round. Locals say, “cloudy days are the best days in Yunnan.” The shadow under the cloud is a natural and comfortable place for human activities in the wilderness. The concept of the building derives from a “cloud”: a natural place to shade from the Sun and rain, a relaxed space to for gawk staring at the snow-capped Mountains.

Clouds are always relaxed and natural, whose shapes change with the wind; the traditional buildings in Yunnan are also built with great freedom: the old craftsmen had no specific design for strict planning. They might suddenly pile a stone mill into the wall, and they didn’t care whether the edges and surfaces were properly handled…It’s all about randomness, imagination, and carelessness. In this context, the architect felt that the project should also be treated a little more relaxed

So the building’s purpose responds to the site in such a way that the roof follows the terrain naturally, avoiding plants and rocks and stretching like a cloud,allowing it to wander naturally and find its own boundary; and the structural system that supports the cloud is a tribute to the structural principles of Kaare Klint’s Safari Chair (1933) by the architect to correspond Hylla’s theme of Glamping – an “imprecise” system that proactively adapting to the outdoor environment. Twenty-seven thin steel columns of varying lengths heights adjust themselves to the terrain, supporting the soft waved roof properly; finally, a group of stone walls rising from the ground defines several separated yet echoing continuous spaces. The boundary boundaries between architecture and nature, and the different scenarios of space functions are blurred, so that the meaning of the site becomes a more open “text”, making the visitors’ individual experience possible.

The building is made of two main materials: stone and wood. The walls are made of red stone from the nearby Guifeng Village, and the roof is made of wooden rain boards recycled from old houses in Shangri-la. The architect intends to leave the decoration bare, revealing the original color and texture of the stone and wood; the construction relied on local stonemasons and carpenters to handle the materials in a traditional way. Hopefully in this way, the local spirit will be naturally conveyed in the this new building.

However, taking materials “casually” doesn’t mean the construction process is easy. In today’s highly developed machine operation, in order to maintain the natural texture of the stone, each stone used in the building was chiseled by a mason with a tool. The construction of this building is “like cooking molecular cuisine” – it takes local materials and make something that is not local.

After a quite efficient construction  for almost six months, now it is finished and well known for a nick name ‘red house’ because of its typical red stone wall which forms a strong contrast with the wild Yunnan environment and the rustic charm of the site.It also looks like a huge tent lying on the grass for the roof structure. ‘Red house” is a part of Hylla Land natural Nature & Rresort, which is located in the plotarea where the main part of the phase I hotel extends meetsto the mountain forest plot.  Without being restricted in a traditional way, the urban life elements and natural outdoor experiences subtly merges together in this nature experience center building. It is a natural life experience center that goes beyond the traditional definition and takes natural outdoor activities as the experience scene and integrates the urban life elements. Due to the building’s flexibility it offers, the visitor of the space can also choose to stay in the way they feel comfortable. With chairs, steps, and roofs, you may sit or lie, or stand or idle about, follow your inclinations and respect the user’s subjectivity adequately.

In front of the project, there are lawns, water pools, and trees, high and low, successively arranged; behind the house is a natural canal, across the water from the main building of the hotel.On one side, it looks up at the snow-capped mountains and glaciers, on another side; it overlooks the village and countryside. Except for one side of the countryside, the other three sides are closely surrounded by the complete canopy line extending from Mount Zhishan.

‘Red house’ proposes a calm, cozy and perfect space for vacation to find the time for relaxation, and Yunnan itself is in an ideal state of relaxation. It was designed with a better view of the mountains in mind. Spreading the fun of the trip is also an important part of the overall vacation experience.

For this project, the architects’ intention was not rigidly to seek and imitate the similarity of Yunnan’s local architectural forms. Instead, they designed a building that “looks nothing like the local architecture, but speaks directly to the inner spirit of the local architecture-natural and comfortable and relax as you please.

Returning to the question of “how can we create a relaxing experience for visitors, the builders themselves relax first and wonder if it is also a path.

Name of the project: Hylla Cloudfall Nature Lounge

Project category: Hospitality

Role of the entrant in the project: gad G+lab

Yanjiao Village, Baisha Town, Lijiang, Yunnan, China, 674100

Design year: 2019

Year Built: 2020

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