The inspiration for the design of SOM LAND, a resort on Shanghai’s Chongming Island, came from the desire to be close to nature. The architects wanted to create a space that was in harmony with the natural countryside and combined local customs and handicrafts. The site is surrounded by national shelter forests and rivers, so integrating with the natural environment was a primary consideration in the design.
For the original tool house, the architects expanded the space and added a kitchen, multi-functional activity area, reception, and two restrooms. They used a transparent glass and wood frame structure with a folding door system to achieve western space extension and bring more natural light into the space. The old brick fireplace placed under the curved bamboo ceiling is the most eye-catching feature of the interior space.
The architects chose “moderate restraint” as the most critical direction when renovating the two old buildings. The accommodation building provides 552 square meters of space for resort room functions. The height of each floor was optimized, and the actual 2-floor structure was changed to 3 floors, increasing the number of rooms. The original staircase was relocated to the middle of the north side of the building to maximize the view of the room and support the best visual view for resort guests.
The material selection for the resort is mostly from nature and the local site, such as recycled bricks, demolished wood from the original building, natural clay paint, tree branches, and old cloth with local characteristics of Chongming Island. The concave-convex texture of the facade of the building is composed of recycled bricks according to the surface pattern of Chongming old cloth, while reed poles are used as roofs to recall the traditional way of manual binding. The architects hope to bring out the first impression of the sustainable concept and practice of earth materials returning to nature.
The outdoor garden follows a “low maintenance” and “letting plants grow naturally” style, while the two old houses on-site were renovated using a protective method that followed Chongming’s local building regulations. The old two-floor building was transformed into a three-floor accommodation building, and the original tool house was turned into the reception building for the resort. The interior and exterior of the buildings were re-designed to optimize the moving line and provide the best visual view for resort guests.
In summary, SOM LAND is a resort space that reflects the architects’ desire to be close to nature and combine local customs and handicrafts. The design focuses on nature and humanistic traditions and provides hotel guests with a warm and relaxing vacation with a deeper understanding of the local style of the environment.
Area: 632 m²
Photographs: Wen Studio