In Just 31 Days, These Historic Chinese Ruins Were Transformed Into a Chic B&B
In a testament to the incredible speed of construction in China, the decayed ruins of two historic stone structures on Zhejiang’s Dahuanglong Island have been reborn as a stylish bed-and-breakfast in less than 40 days.
Commissioned as part of the popular Chinese reality television show Beautiful House, Beijing–based studio Evolution Design Architects was given a budget of 600,000 RMB (approximately $87,965 USD) for construction and interior design, as well as just two months to complete the transformation.
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Impressively, the architects completed the project slightly under budget and in just a little over half the time allotted—construction only took a total of 31 days.
When the architecture firm first saw the site, the two existing structures had fallen into severe disrepair with caved-in roofs and crumbling walls.
Since the television program celebrates adaptive reuse and a back-to-nature aesthetic, the architects restored the two buildings and added modern elements, including ample glazing and a new reinforced concrete extension to better embrace sea views.
The restored historic buildings are used to house the bedrooms, while the new extension comprises the communal spaces as well as a rooftop deck and a flight of stairs that mitigates the site’s approximately 13-foot change in elevation.
Completed late last year, the adaptive reuse project covers an area of approximately 2,900 square feet and was mainly constructed from locally sourced granite, concrete, and steel. The minimalist interiors are dressed in modern furnishings and natural materials.
"We pay too much attention to how good a building looks on the outside while ignoring what lies inside," note the architects.
"Perhaps we need our houses to be pure, low-key, reserved and less ‘noble’, and if a TV program can entertain the public and still convey a notion that makes people more aware of the vital relationship between environment and human-made structures, encouraging them to care about our own living environment and maximize their own spatial delight and spirit made possible by architectural aesthetics, then what harm is there in making such a process entertaining?"
Architect of Record: Evolution Design Architects
Design Consultants: Wu Yanzu and the Star Team
Interior Design: Liu Shaohua, Han Yue, Yu Hongye
Structural Design: Chen Xiaofei
Mechanical and Electrical Design: Liu Qiulong
Engineering Director: Peng Naiying
Building /Construction: Jixian Third Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.