Songlou is located in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, China’s Tao Capital: Yixing. The surrounding natural environment is very superior. It is located in the Longchi Mountain Scenic Area in the scenic Yangxian Tourism Resort. Not only is the base surrounded by lush bamboo forests, but you can also see the farmland and the temple in the mountain.
The understanding of the project between the architect and the owner coincides. This homestay hidden in the bamboo forest should borrow the scenery and blend with nature. At the same time, as a photographer, the owner also hopes that his photographic works can be exhibited in the homestay: it not only decorates the artistry of the space, but also infuses the owner’s artistic accomplishment, making the homestay more distinctive and personal.
The whole building presents a simple white color. Through the various combination of spatial boxes, it not only enriches the space types, obtains more gray spaces that are close to nature, but also maintains the overall architectural form. The architecture is therefore outstanding from the surrounded green area: architecture, mountains, bamboo forests, and flowing water together create the poetic living life that modern people aspire to, which is simple, natural and leisurely.
In terms of functional arrangement, the underground floor is used as a multi-functional entertainment space: Karaoke, film hall, entertainment room, water bar, are all available. The spatial characteristics of the basement can reduce noise interference, ensuring that some guests can sleep peacefully. The first floor is the transition between the underground entertainment space and the private and quiet guest room space, where reception services, tea drinking and reading takes place, and it is also an important public space for guests to interact and make friends. There are 7 independent rooms on the second/third floor, each of them has a good natural view that can please guests.
If the wall division is necessary to divide space functions and create privacy, then in this project, components such as windows, balconies, and glass partitions become a way to connect the indoor and outdoor, building and the landscape, people and nature. For the guest rooms on the second and third floors, the designer adopted large-area corner windows facing different landscapes according to the surrounding natural conditions of each room. At the same time, the theme of each guest room echoes its different window scenery (streams, mountains, bamboo forests, etc.), which forms different interior styles. These floor-to-ceiling windows are like a frame in photography, making different natural landscapes like a picture scroll. Completely unfolded before the eyes of the residents, the interior of the building has realized the maximum absorption of natural scenery, and the unique room names such as “Tanxi”, “Muyang” and “Shaking Bamboo” are also derived from this. In the Songlou homestay, every window opening is a framing arrangement after careful observation by the photographer owner and designer.
The terrace is an architectural element that can effectively introduces people into the real nature, and the use of glass handrails further improves the relationship between people and nature. For residents, the terrace is also the most popular space. Here, you can sit and enjoy the humid breeze in the mountains, listen to the birds and smell the flowers, and you can also hold parties and serve as a small open-air camp.
The wooden material is an important element for the interior. On the one hand, it continues the pristine and natural mountain landscape characteristics, and at the same time makes the owner’s artistic photographic work a bit of rustic charm. The design of the public space on the first floor and the first floor flexibly uses the load-bearing structure to create a variety of activity spaces and at the same time eliminate the division and obstruction of the space by the load-bearing structure. There are basically no door openings in the entire public area which makes it open and bright. Only low wooden walls are used as the division of some specific spaces (such as study room).