Hidden in the deep forests of Tonglu in Zhejiang province, Qinglongwu is an ancient village named after a stream passing through. An old house of wood structure and mud walls is entrenched along a road in the village, facing the green mountains in the south and east side and a lower courtyard in the north. Commissioned by the client, Atelier tao+c redesigned and regenerated this 232sqm old building by inserting a capsule hotel that can accommodate 20 people, a community bookstore and library into the 7.2-meter high two-stories space. The biggest challenge to the architects, and the key to the design, is to ensure the privacy of the accommodation area while giving openness and continuity to the public areas within such a compact space. After removing the original floors and partition walls, the architect opened the ground floor for library and open spaces, placed two independent “floating” structure above the open spaces, which will be used separately for male and female guests. Instead of a regular floor height, the architect divided the floating mass by 1.35 meters, a height that can only allow people to sit or to lie low, then split and staggered the floor slabs to create an unconventional three-floor space with interesting perspectives. At the same time, the staggering floor slabs formed a few “double-height” spaces in the accommodation areas, so the hotel guests can still find a place to stand and to walk through, it is also where people’s point of sight is above the floor height.
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