Rustic B&B in Xiamen is a traditional architecture urbanised

Located in Dazhai Village, Xiamen, Xiangyu Xiangyuan B&B is steeped in traditional Fujian architecture fused with contemporary touches. 

The 1 200 square metres property is composed of three traditional houses and two new buildings, which juxtapose the old and new into a single architectural narrative. The team at The Design Institute Of Landscape & Architecture China Academy Of Art had envisoned the property as a quaint guest house which promises visitors a rural experience with modern-day comforts.

These traditional buildings are a typical representative of Southern Fujian dwellings in which the main structures of the buildings used mostly wooden frames, red bricks and red tiles, and “Yingshan” style roofs (a traditional Chinese building type for roofs). Both ends of the roof curve slightly upward, using light and flexible “swallowtail” methods. 

Contemporary design make-overs with steel, glass and brick

The project uses steel, glass and brick to reinforce the original wooden frames and tiles, resulting in a harmonious blend of old and new. The areas where the buildings collapsed over the years were replaced with contemporary make-overs. Floor-to-ceiling windows were installed to give visual and physical access to the interior courtyard, while an entire façade and part of the roof were wrapped in steel-rimmed glass, flooding the space with natural sunlight. In a bid towards sustainability, old materials were worked into newer forms: stone bricks embedded into new walls, original stone laid down for flooring, and old wood crafted into wall panels.   

The guesthouse’s interiors prominently feature wood in its flooring, furniture and contemporary ceiling installations. Alongside these wood details are stone and porcelain, traditional elements used as modern touches. From locally woven grass carpets to staircase handrails wrapped in straw rope, the interior design richly embodies Southern Fujian culture within its walls, inviting foreign and local guests to revel in it.

Photography by AOGVISION, Kobe Photography Studio


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