Shaoxing Guesthouse

Client: Private
Location: Shaoxing, China
Completed in: 2008
Built area: 381m2

The renovation of a historic courtyard building next to the house and garden of the famous writer Lu Xun was perceived as a special challenge for a contemporary architectural practice. Based on intensive research of the typology of the ancient courtyard house from Qing Dynasty and historic construction techniques, Playze developed this guesthouse for a private client. A subtle reinterpretation of traditional techniques was used as means of distinguishing new interventions from the existing structure. 

The wood construction has been rebuilt in major parts including local tectonic knowhow. The inner facade of the courtcard is the result of a computer aided reinterpretation of chinese ornaments. The design is computer driven - the realisation is traditional craft.

The Chinese typology originally provides two courtyards separated by the main facade. In this case the first courtyard has been superstructed later in history. The intention was to make this experienceable. A light gap has been introduced to create an atmosphere inbetween an indoor and outdoor situation. The merging of western and chinese dwelling is solved on different levels. The spatial configurations are bringing both potentials into something new.