There was a plot in Yangzhou, China, with a number of unused buildings. Following a brief to repurpose these structures in harmony with the landscape, architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu used tonnes of reclaimed grey bricks to create a 20-room boutique hotel. The result was The Walled, an incredible establishment that looks handmade.
The architects have respected traditional walls, horizontal buildings and courtyards in the layout of the various areas of the hotel. An idea that came from a reinterpretation of tradition.
The brickwork represents Chinese culture and craftsmanship, with openings to let in natural light which plays off the relief and lends expressiveness to the space.
The maze-like distribution of the guest rooms is a far cry from traditional hotels, thanks to a series of courtyards that make for much more complicated logistics while enhancing visitor experience in a nod to the country’s cultural and architectural history.
Neri and Hu used existing material in consonance with history, tradition and the requirements of the brief. Their interpretation of reuse, subtlety of light, shadow and interplay of heights make this hotel atypical and sophisticated in a way which will not leave its guests unmoved.
Exemplary architecture in a country that still has a long way to go in reinventing itself. That’s how we would describe this incredible space whose purpose, aside from creating an architectural experience, is to accommodate foreign millionaire guests.
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