HEI homestay is located in a village of Mount Mogan in Deqing, Zhejiang. The body of wooden structure of the front building was rebuilt after the previous wooden structure was destroyed in a fire around 1916, the rammed earth wall is older, and the wooden structure has a history of more than 100 years.

Project Name: HEI Homestay
Designer: HEI Architectural Design Studio
Project completion date: September 2021
Architecture and interior design: Peng Xianfei
Project address: Mt. Mogan town, Deqing, Zhejiang
Building area: 332 square meters
Photography copyright: Ali Li, Chen Junyu

As a very typical and high-standard traditional rural dwelling in mountain village with Zhejiang style, the beam-type roof truss, the front lattice windows, and the flower door are completely preserved, which has a high architectural history research value. At the same time, as the only one left in the old group of buildings over a century, it used to be the former lobby. There are very few buildings built in the same period in Mount Mogan that have been preserved to this day.

Homestay By HEI Architectural Design Studio - Sheet13
Ali Li, Chen Junyu

His ancestors made a living as a security guard in the late Qing Dynasty, and had a certain accumulation of assets. At that time, it was regarded as a relatively large-scale and high-quality residential building. Later, due to fire, moisture, new buildings, etc., only this house has been preserved to this day. The building behind was built in 1985 and used as an auxiliary house.

The whole plot is in a valley surrounded by bamboo forests on three sides of the building. Because the valley can only be accessed through a small opening on the side of the house, it can be well preserved as it was hundreds of years ago. The backyard valley has a high value of research on traditional farming and living patterns. The stone-stepped road hundreds of years ago, the cascading terraced fields, and the creek passing through the side of the house are all direct representations of traditional rural life, therefore, the renovation process has tried to maintain the status quo.

Homestay By HEI Architectural Design Studio - Sheet14
Ali Li, Chen Junyu

The two main buildings are mainly renovation. As the main guest room space, part of the first floor is mainly used by the owners as a design studio. The public space and kitchen are placed on the higher ground on the north side of the lot, constructed of steel and large areas of glass. The public space is a complex space integrating dining and leisure, which is relatively modern.

Integration is the biggest issue in this project. One is the integration of old and new materials, and the other is the integration of the overall design of the two main buildings in the project.

New materials were not rejected in the renovation. Floor-to-ceiling glass, cast-in-place beams, steel, white cement walls and so on formed a strong contrast with the original wooden lattice windows, flower doors, the Rammed Earth wall and so on, but they were well integrated.

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Ali Li, Chen Junyu

The original buildings were two completely unrelated bodies, so the transformation process enhanced the integrity of the two bodies through a number of techniques, including adding patios, digging ponds, adding steel staircases, roof corridors and so on.

It was because that the lying land of the site was high, the opening on the side of the house was too small, and the big machinery couldn’t move in, so the renovation strategy is to use the existing and surrounding materials on the site as much as possible.

The indoor partition wall of the main body of the building behind is made of the old rammed earth wall that was partially demolished on the first floor of the house and then built using antique method. the tiles are also the old blue tiles used in the original old house, and the outdoor platform is built with stones dug out of a pond, so the whole renovation process is more like a process of redistributing and combining material resources.

Therefore, after renovation, in the end, the whole building presents a very comprehensive, modern and traditional, contradictory and unified posture. It not only retains the cultural flavor of traditional life and traces of time, but also conforms to the current aesthetic and meets the functional needs of modern people.

This practice proposed a new solution for the reconstruction of rural buildings: assume the traditional rural buildings left over as an unfinished design, do specific analysis and thinking, retain its valuable parts, and make appropriate additions and subtractions to make it more suitable for the current function and comfort in terms of space and function, not just simple antiquing and demolishing new construction.

Homestay By HEI Architectural Design Studio - Sheet8
Ali Li, Chen Junyu

The main cultural experience value of HEI homestay lies in the display of traditional architectural culture and garden culture. One of the design goals is to discuss how to design a building that can be seen at a glance as belonging to China and the locality. Gardens are the essence of traditional Chinese architectural culture. We refined the most fundamental “transition” and “hiding” in garden design, and applied it to the design in a more concise, geometrical way.

Compared with the traditional classical gardens that pileup mountains and waters by themselves in the city, this is a more three-dimensional truly open landscape garden. with mountains as walls, scattered platforms as rockeries, natural streams as streams, people traverse among the stone walkways


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