ares harmonizes architecture and nature in its chinese granary station transformed hotel

ares harmonizes architecture and nature in its chinese granary station transformed hotel

ares partners’ MIYA | LOSTVILLA huchen barn resort is set in the coastal ninghai county of east china‘s zhejiang province. lying between the tiantai mountain and the siming mountain, it boasts a beautiful mountainous territory. this hotel has been converted from an old granary station built in 1956. the site consists of six renovated old buildings and one new addition which functions as reception and meeting facility. the renovation process is taking on a sensitive approach to the surrounding beautiful scenery and the old granary station buildings on site. to convert from a storage space to a place where human comfort is in demand becomes quite a challenge for the design team.

view of the west elevation



the design approach of chinese based practice ares partners is to engage a dialogue between the old and new buildings on site as well as a dialogue between architecture, mountain scenery and people. five of the seven existing buildings were built of stone masonry. all windows were very small in size and located 2.5 meters above ground. the lower part of the building facade is made of rock stone and the upper part is made of brick. they are linked by a continuous cement ring beam. all small windows are located at the upper part of the facade. based on the new guest room plan, the architects carefully selected windows to be enlarged in width as well as in height. this is to minimize the opening cuts in the stone masonry exterior facade, but meanwhile to allow more natural light penetrating into the interior space.

new balcony and sun room at building C



the original facades made of natural stone were being covered with thick layers of white paint. after carefully removing the paint, the beautiful stone masonry facade reveals to its original condition. the existing building structure is being kept. two of the seven buildings have beautiful timber wood structure. ares partners have removed the false ceiling to allow the wood structure to be exposed. steel I-beams are added either to reinforce the existing structure or to act as a channel for hiding all the utility pipes and conduits.

looking from the courtyard



new interior demarcation walls are added to create twenty-one guest suites. new bathroom facilities are also added to each guest suite. these new spaces are created as ‘boxes nesting inside a room’. the height for each box is controlled between 2.5 meter and 2.8 meter in order to bring the scale of the interior space closer to the perception of human body. new decks and sun rooms were added to the smallest building on site. the oblique lines of the edge of the deck creates varies view points for hotel guests to appreciate the breathtaking mountain view.

main passage in front of new building



the seventh building which was built in the 70’s is being demolished and a new building is designed to build within the peripheral of the original building envelope. this new building is located in between two old stone masonry buildings. ares partners’ design approach is to make the building form as abstract as possible. the south facade of the building is directly facing the hotel main entry. the architects would like the hotel guests to view the mountain scenery in the distance upon entering. after studied the site condition carefully, it was determined that the southern facade height should be at 4.85 m and the north side at 7.1 m. the east facade of the new building folds in an angle to echo the existing site condition. by bending and setting back, it created a space for people to linger around.

aerial view of new building



a secondary passage way is added between the west facade of the new building and the existing building. a stair by the west facade leads to the tea room and viewing deck on second floor. large glass panels are being used on north and sound facade of the tea room. it maximizes the view of the mountain scenery around. ares believes the project is well accomplished to transform between two extreme opposite function spaces. the architecture form of the new building is modern and abstract. the contemporary architecture language is yet to be respectful to the existing buildings around as well as to nature. architecture, people and nature are in harmony.

alleyway between new building and renovated building

this new building is located in between two old stone masonry buildings

view of the hotel from new balcony at building C

guest suite interior after renovation

new interior demarcation walls are added to create twenty-one guest suites

new bathroom facilities are also added to each guest suite

restaurant interior after renovation



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    486,320 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    privacy policy