Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows, Door, FacadePersimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows, FacadePersimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Table, Brick, BeamPersimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Table, Sofa, Windows, ChairPersimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - More Images+ 15

Weihai, China
  • On Site Representative: Weidong Liu
  • Soft Outfit Counselor: Bing Bai
  • Cooperation Company: Beijing VAGE Institute of Architectural Design & Planning Co.Ltd
  • Client: Local Government
  • Principal Architect: He Wei
  • Design Team: Long Chen, Jiaojie Zhang, Wanchen Sang, Qiang Li, Lijun Wu
  • On Site Representative: Weidong Liu
  • City: Weihai
  • Country: China
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Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows
Retain the original residential buildings and transform them into guest rooms;The new tea pavilion enriched space level. Image © Weiqi Jin

Text description provided by the architects. The adaptation project is based in Wangjiatuan Village, Weihai City, Shandong Province of China. On the one hand, the 100-year-old village has preserved its original layout well, with distinctive traditional scenarios and great cultural and tourism value. On the other hand, agricultural decline and resident relocation have left behind many vacant houses, leading to a village with the apparent lack of vigor and vitality. The topic that the project intends to address is how to improve the living environment, drive industrial growth and revitalize the village while retaining its rural scenario and local characteristics, and how to meet people’s need for a delicate lifestyle while increasing villagers’ income. There may be a possibility to achieve this goal by designing.

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Facade
An Oriental courtyard in front of the guest room. Image © Weiqi Jin

Like what happened to other three groups of buildings for adaptive use accomplished in the village, Persimmon Garden is also a dwelling adaptation project. Before our designer team engaged in the project, part of the courtyard houses had been remodeled by another team. But the lack of design resulted in so poor effect that the remodeled section failed to come up with the owner’s expectation. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows, Door, Facade
The facade of the original building is retained and grey space is formed at the entrance with steel members. Image © Weiqi Jin

Reading the place
Reading the place was the first step to start the designing work, which was known as “practicing geomancy” in ancient China. The designer team found that the two courtyards to be adapted are far away from the village road and there was a vacant land of over 20 meters in width between the courtyards and the village road. Many fruit trees were planted in the land and there is a narrow passage between the courtyards that leads to the mountain in the back. The back mountain is covered with luxuriant persimmon and Chinese catalpa trees. There was a cleaned land near the houses where miscellaneous items were stacked up. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Facade
The courtyard in the night. Image © Weiqi Jin

The original houses were typical dwellings of Jiaodong Peninsula. Neither of the one-storeyed courtyard houses is a standard quadrangle courtyard structure, with only principal rooms and wing rooms. The dwellings feature roofs built with dark grey hanging tiles and walls laid with rubbles, looking solid and magnificent. The designer team is particularly fond of the handwork beauty created by traditional masonry, which strikes a sharp contrast with numerous shoddy buildings today. Traditional masonry structures produce a sense of nostalgia while igniting people’s dream about a delicate lifestyle. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Fence
The wall formed by the traditional construction process stone and the modern pool are all in harmony. Image © Weiqi Jin

In addition to buildings, tree, mountain and stone are also key elements in the place that attract the architects more. The mountain functions as the background. Trees are important landscape elements presenting a front view. As the medium between man and nature, the stone plays a critical role in building activities. 

Final Option
Final Option

A rustic garden in north China 
It was the desire of the designer team to remodel the dwelling into a rustic village garden in north China. It should be rustic, rather than wild; a garden, instead of a courtyard. It should also be a design work with certain “literati” elements. The trees, mountainand stone found when reading the place have therefore become particularly important elements to be appreciated in a new space and to be employed to design garden landscapes. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows, Facade
Pavilions, trees, and their reflections in the water enhance the sense of painting. Image © Weiqi Jin

Trees were preserved during adaptation practices and provided a starting point for the designing work. According to the initial designing plan, new additions (supporting B&B facilities, such as catering and logistic facilities) would be built around the trees to form independent but inter-connected courtyards. It was intended to develop a positive-negative relationship or a relationship of viewing and being viewed among houses, courtyards, people and trees. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Windows, Brick, Facade
The trees are preserved in the site, which forms a subtle symbiotic relationship with the new pool. Image © Weiqi Jin

As a Chinese saying goes, “A garden would be impossible without waterways”. Water can bring a sense of spirituality to the space and effectively improve temperature and humidity of the micro environment. But the treatment of water landscapes is a challenge as winter in north China is quite cold. The waterscape in the Persimmon Garden is a shallow pool of 30cm in depth, fenced by metal plates. It is a water pool in summer and turned into a playground in winter when water is emptied and the pool is paved with sand. The trees within the waterscape are original ones. The pool was tunneled at their locations to form two holes, allowing the trees to stand out. The pool and the trees do not intervene each other while contributing to each other.

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Table, Brick, Beam
Tea drinking pavilion, a semi-outdoor space for relaxation in the persimmon garden. Image © Weiqi Jin

The two pavilions are new additions on each side of the pool. While providing a semi-outdoor space for residents, they are also opposite sceneries and commanding points in the space. Instead of using traditional official forms, the pavilions were designed to highlight contemporary and local features. The single-slope roof, the foundation platform using traditional masonry techniques, and window screens with lattice frames as the central axis, are full of rustic life, rather than ancient style. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Waterfront
The courtyard in the night. Image © Weiqi Jin

The courtyard walls were laid with rubbles and wooden fences, using traditional local techniques. New rubbles, original rubbles, and original walls laid with rubbles and pointed with cement mortar are combined to offer a dialogue with traditional craftsmanship. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Image 12 of 20
Tiger skin wall. Image © Wei He

The vacant land at the foot of the mountain behind the dwellings was also cleaned and built into a back courtyard. It is a private leisurely space with lawns, Chinese catalpa trees and swings. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Fence, Forest, Garden
Back mountain. Image © Wei He

A dialogue between the new and the old: A contemporary presentation of countryside lifestyle.
Spatial arrangement. Two original masonry dwellings have been retained in the place. They were new dwellings built by villagers in recent years, with more space than traditional dwellings in the village and a layout more suitable for living. The architects re-designed the dwellings’ spatial layout and circulation from the perspective of B&B operation. The original two buildings were divided into four independent B&B suites. Each suite has a single bed with an additional bed that can accommodate a couple and their kid.


Original components such as kitchen range and heated brick bed were not deliberately retained. But instead, B&B public space was enhanced with a larger sitting room and a private bathroom which are smartly connected with each other. The original exterior of the dwellings has been completely retained, with only steel canopies and seats added to meet new functional uses. 

While comfort is ensured, interior design emphasizes contrast between the new and the old as well as rusticity. The interior space features white roughcast walls, grey terrazzo floors and oak wood furniture. The simplistic and comfortable interior space strikes a contrast with the traditional exterior environment. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Table, Windows, Beam
View the bedroom from the living room. Image © Weiqi Jin

Furnishings. Persimmon red was employed as the predominant color to echo the theme of “Persimmon Garden”. Red as a popular color favored by common Chinese people has a symbolic meaning of auspiciousness and happiness, adding dynamics to the simple and elegant space. The designer team also collected numerous old furniture from the area, such as old tables, chairs, stools, cabinets and stitching machines. They were installed in spatial units to enhance the connection between the B&B space and local culture, exhibiting the theme of “rustic B&B”. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Table, Sofa, Windows, Chair
In guest room A, stone walls and old furniture are kept deliberately to convey a sense of time and  regional information. Image © Weiqi Jin

A good B&B is a place where culture, spaceand service are interwoven. It should exhibit local culture and rustic lifestyle and create a nostalgic environment while providing a comfortable living environment and quality services. As a pilot B&B project led by the local government, the Persimmon Garden has offered a new perspective for local rural construction: that is, to achieve the transformation from “I will do what I want” to “I should do what you want”. 

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Wood
Part of the interior space. Image © Long Chen

After the project was completed, many people from the outside came to rent damaged or shabby village dwellings and restore or remodel them for self use or for business operation. They have become new residents of Wangjiatuan Village. Rural tourism has offered new opportunities to restore or renovate damaged or shabby houses and to revitalize the once declined village.

Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio - Image 16 of 20
Part of the interior space. Image © Long Chen

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Project location

Address:Wangjiatuan Town, Weihai, Shandong, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Persimmon Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio" 23 Mar 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

The courtyard in the night. Image © Weiqi Jin

威海王家疃村柿园民宿 / 三文建筑 / 何崴工作室

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