anySCALE, a beijing-based architecture and design studio, has turned a 300-year-old mansion in china’s jiangxi province into a high-end boutique hotel. the name of the ‘wuyuan skywells hotel’ refers to a regional architectural feature — known as tian jing — where narrow courtyards allow daylight into adjacent rooms. the project’s clients, an english and chinese couple, purchased the property and sought to preserve the building’s qualities as much as possible.

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
all images by marc goodwin / archmospheres

 

 

working closely with the clients, anySCALE wanted to recreate the sense of grandeur and elegance previously associated with the site and the mansion. the wuyuan skywells hotel seeks to provide comfortable accommodation for both vacationers those looking to escape city life for a few days. with a focus on preservation rather than renovation, the building’s traditional elements were either kept intact or restored with extreme care.

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the entrance to the boutique hotel

 

 

since large parts of the building’s existing timber frame were destroyed, one of the project’s challenges was to restore it, without damaging its historic appearance. to achieve this, the design team joined forces with a talented local artisan who also created carvings to replace those that had been lost over the years. as adding windows to the hotel rooms would change the building’s external appearance, the architects introduced latticed panels on walls facing the skywells.

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the reception area includes many of the building’s original features

 

 

internally, 14 rooms and suites are finished with a combination of neutral tones, interspersed with bright accent colors. meanwhile, brick and clay walls, which help keep the structure cool during hot summers, have been restored and rebuilt according to local traditions. original elements in public areas were retained, while more private spaces feature contemporary fittings and modern-day amenities.

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the hotel includes 14 rooms and suites

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
original and traditional elements in public areas have been retained

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
brick and clay walls have been restored and rebuilt according to local traditions

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
a new restaurant building has been added to the complex

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the restaurant overlooks a secluded courtyard

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the hotel provides accommodation for vacationers and those looking to escape city life for a few days

anySCALE transforms historic mansion in china into the wuyuan skywells hotel
the hotel complex illuminated at night

 

 

project info:

 

location: wuyuan, jiangxi province, china
clients: wuyuan skywells
size: 1,385 sqm
design: anySCALE
photography: marc goodwin