The balconies of Sky Yards Hotel in Xiuwu County, China, are designed to focus views upwards, framing the sky and mountains instead of the construction sites below.
Located in an industrial area in Henan Province, the 48-room hotel was designed by Shanghai-based practice Domain Architects and includesa restaurant, banquet hall and swimming pools.
The building sits atop a raised concrete base concealing underground parking. L-shaped in plan, the hotel surrounds a pool and terrace.
Some of the rooms overlook this courtyard, but the majority face outwards, towards views that the practice wanted to carefully control.
“Usually a hotel room would be designed as an outward box to maximise the view,” said the practice.
“We rejected this conventional model,” it added. “The exterior view below eye-level is blocked, while the view above is left open and lifted to invite more light and air.”
Each of the rooms overlooking the landscape features deep covered balconies, what the practice refers to as “micro yards”.
Each of these micro yards has a high-level opening cut out of the exterior wall. The roofs are pulled upwards to reveal the sky, creating a distinctive exterior of stacked, pitched forms.
The front walls are then pulled outwards to create prow-like projections that conceal everything below.
“The beautiful, scroll-like view of the sky and the mountain powerfully draws attention,” said the practice. “During different times of the day, the sunlight interacts with the curved wall of the opening in different ways.”
Internally, this concept of pulling and lifting is articulated in the shape of corridor walls and furniture handles.
Blocking low-level views also lend the micro yards more privacy, and each contains a bath and seating area covered by a sweeping soffit of wooden planks.
Smaller rooms facing out onto the pool feature either metal rail or frosted glass balconies.
Full-height sliding glass doors connect the micro yards to the rooms themselves, which are finished with simple white surfaces and pale wood floors and furniture.
Other recent hotel projects in China include the Well Well Well Hotel by Fon Architects nestled inside a hutong in Beijing.
Photography is by Chao Zhang.
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