∇ 01.西北側仰看民宿 Northeast side upward view ©趙奕龍
緣起How we get started
Ma’er Shan village is 25 minutes’ drive from the major town area of Zhangjiajie. Compared to the astounding cliffs and valleys of Zhangjiajie scenic area, the mountains in Ma’er Shan village are not as exquisite yet still inherit a strong scent of rural joys through its lush green environment and scattering country houses. The site used to possess two wood-structured barbecue pavilions surrounded by pines, China-berry trees, ginkgo trees, and a bamboo copse. Gazing towards the north, the visitor will receive an expansive vision of continuous mountains, as seeing a panoramic landscape painting unfolding itself. The environment and the atmosphere thoroughly inspired us during the design of Woodsy Whisper residence.
Southside bird’s view, showing the resort corresponding with distant mountains ©趙奕龍
Northside bird’s view, showing the resort surrounding by woods ©趙奕龍
∇ 04.項目區位 location ©尌林建築
∇ 05.視線關係 horizon ©尌林建築
∇ 06.橫軸山景mountain scenery ©尌林建築
Ma’er Shan village provides decent conditions for construction; meanwhile, as an example of Zhangjiajie’s “Construction of Beautiful Villages” campaign, the village also has a stable tourism demand from local tourists, especially during weekends. The estate owner has a deep reminiscence towards the village as the birthplace; therefore, the project was asked to facilitate the owner’s need for comfortable stays during home returns and maintain the spiritual importance defined by its rural characteristics.
∇ 07.軸測場景圖Axonometric drawing ©尌林建築
The unobstructed view of the east side facade on the stone dike ©趙奕龍
場地策略和場所精神Design strategies and intentions
The construction site, consisting of three homestead areas, has a narrow shape and a 3-meter height difference from east to west. Two homestead areas located at west combined, with the lower one located at the east, together established bases of two main structures of the entire residence: the upper-wide section and the lower-narrow section, connected through a half-transparent sky bridge. The field’s height difference between north and south was utilized to create an underground section used for maintenance storage and equipment closets; the east side vacant space caused by the height difference between east and west was used to create an opened-up gray space that serves as a multipurpose semi-outdoor area for residents’ various needs. The landscape water system in the field follows the path of outdoor steps, forming multiple mini waterfalls, enriching the walking experience with a continuous audio presence of water streams.
∇ 09.方案推演過程Scheme deduction process ©尌林建築
∇ 10.傍晚南側場景 Southside view at dusk ©趙奕龍
∇ 11.傍晚銀杏林看向民宿The residence viewed from the ginkgo wood at dusk ©趙奕龍
Outdoor steps and landscape water system trend downwards following the terrain ©趙奕龍
The gray space formed by vacant vertical space, with distant mountains ©趙奕龍
Distant mountains and neighboring woods compose the most distinctive viewing experience gained at the center of the field; therefore, surrounding woods were preserved mainly to continue the field’s sense of space. The residence is sheltered by woods, while the residence shelters the people within; such a charming paralleled relationship not only retained the mysteriousness of this half-hidden space but also elevated the ground-level walking experiences. Changes in plantations’ posture during four seasons can also impose influences in surrounding opacity, as the residence will get a different look during the lush greens of summer than the baldness of winter.
As a significant scenic element, the view of distant mountains was thoughtfully placed throughout various spaces, hoping to be seen through different manners. While the shape of distant mountains remains half-hidden by surrounding woods in the lower section of the residence, as people going upwards, with their field of view expanding, the expansive landscape of continuous mountains will also gradually unfolds itself. The way distant mountains have been introduced into interior designs of guest rooms also varies through different windowing designs, including long scroll landscape, framed scene, and continuous segmented frames, each of them, contemplates with different types and sizes of interior spaces.
The residence boundary is far beyond the perimeter of the building itself; the surrounding woods, neighboring country houses, distant mountains, nearby farmland, and bamboo copses all serve as a vital part that together assembled the residence’s vibrant environment. With visitors immersed within, such an environment also centered at all residence’s spacing and scenic designs.
∇ 14.北側仰看民宿， 立麵被樹木包圍Northside upward view, the facade surrounding by trees ©趙奕龍
∇ 15.遠山長卷橫軸框景 Long scroll landscape view of distant mountains ©趙奕龍
∇ 16.連續斷框畫幅遠山框景 Continuous segmented framed view of distant mountains ©趙奕龍
∇ 17.片段式遠山框景 Snapped frames of distant mountains ©趙奕龍
∇ 18.橫向延展的接待大廳空間 The horizontally stretched reception lobby area ©趙奕龍
Distant mountains and neighboring woods
An emotional revoking environment
The reception lobby on the first floor is an expansive yet vertically contracted space, compressing its visual volume and physical perception. Few steps downwards to the right, a sunken lounge area is located, equipped with continuous horizontal windows allowing a relatively expensive view. Lower level vegetation’s lush leaves and branches create a half opaque screen with shapes of mountains looming in the distance. The breakfast room with a wet bar, which has an ever-changing natural background formed by mottled shadows of bamboos, is located further into the left.
Adobe wall and height difference relationship of tableland within the space ©趙奕龍
Landscape view of woods introduced into the interior by the continuous horizontal window ©趙奕龍
∇ 21.樹林的光影投到休閑空間中Mottled shades of trees projected into the lounge area ©趙奕龍
∇ 22.早餐廳對應的水吧和竹林The wet bar and the bamboo copse corresponding to the breakfast room ©趙奕龍
Through the reception hall and bamboo fenced corridor, two guest rooms were placed. The guest room at the northeast side has a capacious sight, covering views from close by farm fields to mountains in the distance. Colors and crops of farmland change throughout seasons, giving an ever-changing stay experience across the year. The interior has a simple design, with the space layout focused on views from two directions: the bed is directed towards distant mountains at north; he tea nook, on the other hand, is directed towards farmlands at east. An L-shaped balcony is placed outdoor. The spacious semi-opened-up lavatory equips separate dry and wet areas; the bathtub is placed beside the glass windows to create a bathing experience more closed up to nature.
∇ 23.細密格柵界麵的連廊通道 Corridor path with fine grid texture ©吳昂
∇ 24.客房大床朝向北側的山景 The mountain view at north aimed by queen size bed ©趙奕龍
∇ 25.東側的喝茶空間朝向開闊的田野 The eastside tea nook aiming at expansive farm field ©趙奕龍
∇ 26.浴缸放置在東側窗邊的客房場景Guest room with the bathtub placed beside the east side window ©趙奕龍
∇ 27.看到客房自由開放的衛生間場景 Semi opened-up lavatory ©趙奕龍
∇ 28.客房戶型圖Guest room ©尌林建築
The second-floor guest room gives a pleasant surprise through great family suite experiences. The vertical space is divided into two levels, with an in-room staircase connecting each other. The interior floor is covered with a variety of materials with high differences due to different area usages. With one double bed placed on the lower floor and two beds each placed on the north and the south side of the upper floor, the family suite could sufficiently accommodate the stay of a whole family. Building’s wooden roof structure is exposed to the suite’s loft; a narrow landscape window opened on the north side of the loft introduces a scroll view of distant mountains.
∇ 29.輕盈通透的鋼結構樓梯空間 Light and translucent steel structure staircase ©吳昂
∇ 30.有內部懸挑樓梯的親子客房 Family suite with in-room overhanging staircase ©趙奕龍
A guest room space with various height differences, with an open fire fireplace adding the warmth of the room ©趙奕龍
∇ 32.設置局部通高空間的親子客房 Family suite with a double-height section ©趙奕龍
Loft space with exposed wood structure, the design compressed the vertical volume of the loft ©趙奕龍
Landscape view of distant mountains, air conditioning devices are concealed within the niche ©趙奕龍
∇ 35.客房軸測圖Axonometric drawing of guest room ©尌林建築
The top floor is a grand suite with expansive horizontal space. After entering through the porch, the residents will be embraced with a distant continuous mountain view, forming a layered view together with several popped-up tree branches close by. Resting on the balcony with a gentle breeze and a pot of tea, visitors will enjoy a tranquil experience with the view of mountains. The suite’s layout is divided into two sections by the bathtub and the interior patio. The first section accommodates sleeping and tea drinking, while the second section serves as a leisure space with a wet bar. The uninterrupted flow of space and exposed wood roof structure makes the relationship between the structure and space conspicuous to the observer. Early in the morning, with birds twittering, visitors can experience the refreshment simply by opening up the curtain.
Overlooking the whole space of grand suite through wood structure and interior patio ©趙奕龍
The patio, the shower room, the yard, the fireplace, and the porch entrance all placed on the central axis ©吳昂
∇ 38.相對獨立的套房休閑空間 The grand suite’s semi-independent leisure space ©趙奕龍
∇ 39.大套房橫向延展的空間布局 The horizontally stretched space do the grand suite ©趙奕龍
Structural system and utilization of locally sourced materials
We hope the material selection of the residence’s facade to inherit a sense of locality, to support the relationship between construction and nature, and to utilize locally sourced materials and local craftsman that lowers not only construction expanses but also reduces logistical costs. Materials like rubbles, mud bricks, washed granolithic, terrazzo, gray bricks, and little blue tiles are all commonly used by locals; they are easy to source, craft, and make the construction accuracy easily manageable.
∇ 40.當地傳統建築用材 Local traditional building materials ©尌林建築
∇ 41.建築上的毛石壘砌牆麵Rubble masoned wall on the building ©趙奕龍
Eastside facade with details of cast-in-place cement, wood, and gray brick fusing together ©趙奕龍
Southside facade and relationships between materials including rough rubbles, gray bricks, bamboo fences, and wooden window frame ©吳昂
In terms of structural design, we hope the structure is expressive, serve as an integral part of the building’s space and wall system, and be sensed directly. Using the wooden mold cast-in-place concrete structure, the framework serves as the shear force structure while becoming surfaces of interior and exterior walls, with textured wooden finishes and concrete casted finishes that feel pure and welcoming to touch. The wooden mold cast-in-place concrete structure creates a column-free large-bay structure, allowing interior spacing without constraints. Wood structure, being widely utilized by local houses, is used at the upper section of the residence, interdigitating with the shear force structure. Wooden structural beams are exposed within interior spaces without any other decorative surface, as the wooden structure itself serves as the interior surface material. All electric wiring is concealed within the thermal insulation located at the roof to integrate the building structure and the interior design optimally.
∇ 44.結構拆解圖Structural decomposition ©尌林建築
∇ 45.架空的室外空間，混凝土現澆裸露Overhead external space with exposed cast-in-place concrete ©趙奕龍
∇ 46.東側現澆出挑的體量和陽台 Eastside cast-in-place overhanging volume and balcony ©趙奕龍
∇ 47.頂層木結構裸露的走廊空間 Corridor space with the exposed wooden top structure ©吳昂
∇ 48.屋頂木結構裸露的客房空間 Guest room with an exposed wooden roof structure ©趙奕龍
∇ 49.屋頂木結構裸露的標間客房Standard room with an exposed wooden roof structure ©趙奕龍
∇ 50.現場建造場景 site construction scene ©尌林建築
We are always perplexed by concerns like, “how to resolve the inherent contradiction between traditional construction and modern design”; or “how to form space with materials seemingly fragmented?” Our answer is the importance of accuracy control. Accuracy is not equivalent to delicateness, as accuracy can be perceived as a sensation, an inherent logic of control. Accuracy as a concept can be delivered through language and enhanced through training. However, it may not be fully expressed through construction drawings. Accuracy can be seen as an abstract concept. During construction processes, the feeling and understanding of accuracy should be seen with a high priority; as an example, I will inform stone stacking craftsman that: “during the stone stacking process, make sure always to expose unprocessed sides of stone chunks, no filling up gaps with cement, the cement mortar retreats three centimeters into the rubble wall, maintain the bottom heavy shape of the stone wall, intersperse large and small stones during the stacking, no need to choose the color, use hook to tie with the inner wall for evert 1.5 meter square of area, and stones used for constructing landscape wall should be larger than 1/3 the size of stones used for structural wall construction.” If the construction workers could fulfill those requirements mentioned, they would have successfully met the accuracy requirement.
∇ 51.北立麵牆身詳圖 Details of the north wall ©尌林建築
∇ 52.建築南麵的白天場景 Daylight view of the south side facade ©趙奕龍
Relationships between washed granolithic stairs, rubble wall, and bamboo fences at the south side of the residence ©趙奕龍
Relationship between vagueness and vividness of the south side facade at dusk ©趙奕龍
Actualization of an integrated design
This project is a comprehensive experiment of an integrated end to end design, consisting of project positioning and planning, site planning, architecture design, interior design, decorative design, landscape design, lighting design, structural design, piping and electric system design, smart furniture integration, visual guide system design. It is a project that requires cross-professional, cross-system, and end-to-end integrated design. With such a level of vertical integration, the coherence between the exterior design and the interior design, the unity of building structure and decorative designs, the continuity of the building design and the landscape design, and the conformity of structure and construction materials can all be guaranteed. Different fields of the project were being coordinated swiftly during the practice, hence reduced possible conflicts and clashes between different types of works during the construction, abled interior and landscape construction to have a smooth transition, significantly saved the construction cost, and shortened the overall construction periods. Meanwhile, the integrated design process also ensures consistent design language and material usage throughout every aspect of the project, making sure the natural transition from interior space to outdoor space creates a coherent and immersive environmental experience.
Southwest side bird view gazing towards the residence and distant mountains ©趙奕龍
∇ 56.進村上山透過樹林看到民宿Seeing the residence through woods while entering the village ©趙奕龍
∇ 57.民宿主入口夜晚場景 The main entrance of the residence at night ©趙奕龍
∇ 58.民宿大堂休閑空間場景 Lounge area in the reception lobby ©趙奕龍
∇ 59.民宿的客房入戶廊道 Corridor connecting the guest room area ©趙奕龍
The integrated end-to-end design will be the main focus of our future practices; it is also a trending demand for mid-to-small-sized projects in the future, and the most desirable option for estate owners. While the integrated design can meet design requests in all domains, it can also demise the toil of estate owners searching and arranging different design and construction teams all by themselves, maximally reducing all potential conflicts and ultimately shortening construction periods with significantly lowering construction expenses.
∇ 60.大套房室內場景 Grand suite ©趙奕龍
∇ 61.客房標準間開放衛生間室內場景 Standard guest room with opened-up lavatory ©趙奕龍
∇ 62.客房室內局部軟裝效果場景 Decoration design detail ©吳昂
∇ 63.手工模型 Manual model ©尌林建築
∇ 64.架空層平麵圖 Overhead floor plan ©尌林建築
∇ 65.首層平麵圖First floor plan ©尌林建築
∇ 66.二層平麵圖 Two-level plan ©尌林建築
∇ 67.三層平麵圖 Third floor plan ©尌林建築
∇ 68.屋頂平麵圖Roof plan ©尌林建築
∇ 69.南立麵圖 South elevation ©尌林建築
∇ 70.北立麵圖 North elevation ©尌林建築
∇ 71.南北向剖麵圖 section plan ©尌林建築
Project Name: Ma’er Shan Village, Zhangjiajie, Woodsy Whispers Residence
Project Location: Ma’er Shan Village, Zhangjiajie, Hu’nan Province
Project Owner: Zhangjiajie Beautiful Village Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
Project Type: Resort villa
Design Period: Feb. 2019 – June 2019
Construction Period: Aug. 2019 – Aug. 2020
Design Agency: Shulin Architectural Design
Leading Architect: Lin Chen
Architectural design: Dongying Liu, Weiquan Shi, Song Chen
Interior Design: Dongying Liu, Weiquan Shi, Yini Chen
Decoration Design: Yini Chen, Weiquan Shi, Yiwei Zhao
Branding Design: HUGO-IDEA
Structural Design: Xiang Gao
Vegetation Design: Chen Lu
Furniture: Che’fang Furnitures
Structure Type: Frame-shear concrete / Steel-wood structure
Design Fields: Planning, architecture, interior, decoration, landscape, branding, end to end
Construction Materials: Wooden mold concrete, African teak, rubble wall, gray brick,
adobe, small blue tile, terrazzo, washed stone, synthetic bamboo
Construction Area: 1200㎡
Photography: Yilong Zhao, Ang Wu
Author: Lin Chen
Video Editing: Shiying Ding