Alila Hotel in Yangshuo, Guilin, Guanxi, China

Vector architects

The site of a new hotel designed by Vector Architects in the city of Yangshuo was home to a mill used to produce sugar. The project is simultaneously a refurbishment and a new addition. There are various design themes at play. The first involves the adaptive reuse of the pavilions of the former sugar mill. This is accompanied by the complex integration of the new buildings in relation to the existing structure and the surronding landscape. These operations were resolved by making the existing nucleus of buildings the hinge of the entire complex. The existing volumes were refurbished to host new functions: a hall, a restaurant, a bar and a bookshop. This role as a hinge is further emphasised by a “submerged” plaza created in the Northern part of the site, accessible via a trench passing in the middle of a water feature. The path terminates at the pool overlooking the river, built in the jetty-truss structure once used to raise sugar canes.

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