Competition - Dual Countryside Retreats, Hangzhou, CN  Team: James Kehl, Xiao Wu  The brief for this project calls for the renovation of two existing buildings in Hangzhou's countryside into weekend retreat destinations -- one for professionals and organizations, the other for vacationing families. The project's concepts reflect the culture and experience of each retreat's clientele, while the mirrored renovation strategy of preserving interior or exterior elements is based on the potential of the existing structures.    
   Design Overview, Building A - 'House in a House'   This proposal establishes the renovated building as a desirable vacation destination for families with children, and extended family groups. The design embraces the rustic, fun experience of 'camping under shelter', creating fun and contemporary living space, thoughtful and visible social areas to play and explore in, and communal space for families to talk, eat, and relax together. A customized range of units are available to suit larger and smaller families, with a variety of indoor reading nooks, play areas, and tables outside the rooms to ensure social space for each guest. Alterations to the existing building are limited--the existing exterior walls, roof, and interior structure are retained, allowing for renovation to focus on reconstructing the second-floor slab and the individual room units inside the building.
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   Design Overview, Building B - 'Forest in a Forest'   This proposal establishes the first building as a retreat location for professionals and other organizations. The design embraces the potential of the site, creating contemporary living space, thoughtful social areas, and an abundance of outdoor private and public space. A customized range of areas is available for group or independent activities, both indoor and outdoor, addressing the diverse needs and programs of varying clientele. Alterations to the existing building are limited--the existing interior walls and structure are retained, allowing for renovation to focus on the interior and exterior finishes and facades, and the construction of a new third floor.  The concept for this proposal imagines the design capturing the qualities of the forest environment around it. The upper two floors are clad in a facade of wood louvers, which filter light into spaces overlooking the courtyard. The north-facing balconies of the units on the second and third floors overlook the forest and become serene private areas to converse and rest. The ground floor carries a different architectural expression and is programmed with social and activity areas. A special courtyard is the central feature, and is surrounded by wooden decking that leads to brightly colored activity rooms for visiting groups to socialize or collaborate in.
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