star cubes gaze towards the sky amidst chinese forest in the hangzhou senbo resort

star cubes gaze towards the sky amidst chinese forest in the hangzhou senbo resort

located in the xinghu lake resort area in hangzhou, china, the hangzhou senbo resort star cube was designed by the design institute of landscape and architecture in the china academy of art. the city’s public transportation can access hangzhou’s scenic landscapes directly, offering easy entry into the park. this enables guests and tourists to enjoy the feeling of vacation without necessarily leaving the city.




the project nestles amidst a dense and tall bayberry forest, with a matching natural aesthetic. the architects aimed to design a resort that would grow along with the nature and complement it. the geometries create an upward tension, following that of the surrounding tall trees, blending into the forest. this way, the design resulted in the ‘star cubes’ – a kind of architecture that looks up at the starry sky along with the trees.




inside each ‘star cube’, the indoor spaces are divided into three different, progressive elevations that match the sloping terrain. the spaces are connected by staggered steps that separate the areas inside each ‘star cube’. the lowest level hosts the bedroom with an angled window offering a perfect view of the starry night. the entrance porch at the middle level includes another skylight, while the living room at the highest level of the three, leads to the outdoor courtyard through large glass windows.




all the skylights and windows that puncture the volume bring in ample natural sunlight but also ventilate the interiors while providing unobstructed views of the neighboring forest and mountains. due to their orientation, all the rooms enable a north-south permeability, maximizing the scenic landscape views. coupled with the interiors’ level difference, a rich spatial layering is formed with each space being independent yet connected with each other. the unique spatial arrangement creates a different experience for each guest.




the resort also counts with an ecological construction process, to protect the forest it sits in but also ensuring the building itself is environmentally-conscious in its development. the main structure adopts a heavy wooden structure system, while the foundation and bottom plate are made of reinforced concrete, GOOD for the area’s high humidity. the main structural components are pre-fabricated and transported to the site solely for assembly, for a rather clean, simple and efficient construction site.




the design institute of landscape and architecture was inspired by the site’s characteristics and placement within the chinese landscape. when seen from afar, the resort appears to be a series of wooden cubes with eyes that peer above the bayberry forest. the buildings are meant to seem to grow in the forest, popping out of treetops to look at the sky.



project info:


architecture firm: the design institute of landscape & architecture china academy of art co.,ltd.

contact e-mail: [email protected]

owner: new century tourism group

lead architects: xiawei chen,kai wang

project location: hangzhou, china

completion year: 2019.01

gross built area: 490㎡

construction area: 3500㎡

photo credits: zheng shi,aoguan performance of architecture

design team architects: lijun ke, tuojin,liangxing chen

project manager: guangjie yu

consultant of wood structure: zhuming luo,meierhouse , co.,ltd.

interior designers: montaigne design, co.,ltd.



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: cristina gomez | designboom

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