Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel is located at Yangbei lake wetland park in Fuyang District, Hangzhou. Yanbei was a natural lake in the 80s, and it was later empoldered into an experimental paddy field for rice cultivation research. Later on, as time went on, the environmental impact of the decision was revised, and some of the decisions made involved re-naturalizing previously cultivated lands and included the lake, which is now a wetland park. Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel consists of seven villas distributed at appropriate intervals along the edge of the island so that they are as close to the waterfront as possible, ensuring that each has a spectacular view at the appropriate distance.

Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel by Shulin Architectural Design - Sheet1
Fuyang Yangbei Wetland Ecological Hotel with Villas on a number of islands_©Yilong Zhao

Design (planning, design Solutions, design Philosophy)

Given the context and location of the site of the Fuyang Yangbei Wetland Ecological hotel, the design architects (Shulin Architectural Design) made it a point to introduce nature and a natural atmosphere from the outside to the inside. This was achieved by the large glass screens that are part of the villas on all four sides. With this, the interior atmosphere changes with the weather and the season, making nature part of the building. 

Since the hotel is located in a wetland park, various rare birds, especially egrets, can easily be spotted within the vicinity of the Fuchun river and throughout the islands. The presence of birds on the island inspired the large gabled roof that extends almost to the ground and whose ends rise towards the sky. This gives the two types of villas on the island the appearance of a swallow perched on the water or about to take flight. This particular architecture is termed ‘modern’ or a more stylized version of traditional architecture, precisely the Jiangnan style in this area in China. 

Most of the guest rooms in the hotel have been designed to be semi-outdoor spaces emphasizing the importance of connecting and linking living spaces to nature, especially in instances where the context or surrounding is primarily natural.

Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel by Shulin Architectural Design - Sheet2
Some of the villas’ roofs that mimmick the some of the rare birds that are present on the wetland park_©Yilong Zhao


The Fuyang Yangbei Wetland Ecological hotel villas are made up and built with predominantly natural materials like wood. Solid wood was used on the roof beam, and the natural materials helped frame the landscape over the water. 

Other materials used were steel and glass. The steel was welded and assembled on-site. A light steel keel supports the walls while the outer surface is combined with relatively standard plates and glass doors and windows made in factories and put together on site. In one of the house types, the steel is exposed intentionally, while in the other, the glass door and window fill in the middle of the structure, forming an integral relationship. The roof construction and system are visible, showing off the steel wood segments, the connection between the wooden components, and the overhead steel structural rods at the bottom.

The use and assemblage of prefabricated steel ensured that the environment was not tampered with during construction, leaving nature and the surrounding intact.

The use of glass enabled visual continuity between the living spaces and the wetland park because staying connected to nature in whatever way is essential, especially when you are living around or within it.

Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel by Shulin Architectural Design - Sheet3
The blend of natural materials (wood and steel) where the joinery of the two is intentionally exposed and shown off_©Yilong Zhao


Due to the location of the Fuyang Yangbei Wetland Ecological hotel being in a wetland park that had earlier been reclaimed, sustainability was an essential aspect that the design firm had to consider significantly during the design of the hotel villas.

As mentioned above, natural materials like wood were used in several areas of the villa spaces and some of these, including the roof and floors, among others. This sees the hotel blend into its environment and not look out of place.

The use of prefabricated steel elements for the construction of the main body of the villa also saw that the environment of the wetland park was left intact since components were manufactured in factories and assembled on-site with minimal disturbance to the wetland.

One of the rooms is designed so that three small boxes are framed into a large roof, each with a different size and height for different functions. The boxes are placed on the frame and separated from the roof to create a sense of lightweight but, in turn, let air pass under the double-layered roof. This effectively helps avoid high indoor temperatures during the summer and saves energy.

The floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room that can be opened ensure that the room is comfortable, letting the wind pass through.

The roof’s slope was kept similar to the mountain’s contour so that the distant houses and mountains are seen through the nearby reeds. The villas are also seen to echo the mountain as a way of greeting and responding to each other. This lets the hotel adapt to local conditions while lightly intervening in nature and being integrated into it simultaneously. This is a similar concept to the Jiangnan style from which the architects borrowed aspects to design the Fuyang Yangbei Wetland Ecological Hotel.

Natural materials to fit into the context and the floor to ceiling windows and doors that help in regulating temperature especially during summer but also let in natural light in the spaces_©Yilong Zhao


ArchDaily. (2022). Fuyang · Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel / Shulin Architectural Design. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2022].

Amusement Logic. (2022). Wetland Ecological Hotel, China. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2022]. (n.d.). 富阳阳陂湖湿地生态酒店 / 尌林建筑设计事务所. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2022].

Architizer. (2022). Fuyang Yangbei Lake Wetland Ecological Hotel by Shulin Architectural Design. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2022].