- Chief Architect: Fanhao Meng
- Design Team: Tao Tao, Guangwei Huang, Chao Zhou, Hanqi Zhang, Yuncheng Wan, Yaxian Sun, Daozheng Zhang
- The Client: Jiangsu Yada Real Estate Co., Ltd.
- Construction Drawing Design: Nanjing Architectural Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd.
- City: Nanjing
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. Gaochun is the back garden and south gate of Nanjing. Adjacent to Gaochun Old Street and next to Gucheng Lake, it is a parent-child vacation cultural tourism complex – Nanjing Gucheng Bay Scenic Area which is invested and constructed by Yada Group, operated by CYTS, and designed by line+. New Century Resort Gaochun Nanjing and Visitor Center is located outside the scenic spot, and it is the commercial supporting facilities and urban interface of the scenic spot. The traditional Gaochun Old Street and the expanded commercial area are on the west side of the site, and the modern urban community and supporting commercial streets are on the east side. Therefore, we hope that when new buildings intervene, they can not only connect and stitch the texture of the old city but also continue and renew the form of the old city.
Different and Appropriate Texture Scales. We first analyzed the texture, scale, and spatial composition of the surrounding building groups, and attributed their influence to two aspects – traditional and modern. “Traditional” is the Gaochun Old Street on the west side of the site, which is about 800 meters long and distributed in a spread-eagle shape, and the street-to-building aspect ratio is between 1:1 to 1:2, and the scale is pleasant. “Modern” is the expanded commercial blocks around the old street, including Hui-style antique houses and brick buildings imitating the style of those in the Republic of China, with rich and open spatial levels. The east side of the site is the commercial blocks supporting the community, and they are dominated by new Chinese buildings with black tiles and white walls.
After the analysis and induction of typology, the design is as far as possible to coordinate with traditional streets and lanes on the scale of texture and interface and match the needs of contemporary tourists on the internal spatial scale. In the new streets, the ratio of street width to building height is between 1:1 to 2:1, which can still produce a cohesive and centripetal space, with a moderate sense of scale and not discrete. New spaces have certain urban attributes when they undertake functions such as scenic entrances and commercial facilities, form a coherent and harmonious urban interface with the old street.
Appropriate Form Scale. The formed scale of the new buildings is intended to balance in terms of forms the style alienation between the old buildings and the new Chinese buildings. The visitor center is set on the west side of the streets, faces the entrance plaza, it is the largest single unit in the group, and serves multiple streams of people at the same time. We placed a rectangular volume that can meet ticket sales, check-in, catering reception, and other functions under the large-scale sloping roof. The first floor is a thick foundation made of stone, while the second floor is as transparent and open as possible.
On the west side, we placed a giant partition board woven with wood-like metal wires to form an interesting flexible interface between the transparent and the impermeable, which, together with the gray space under the large-scale roof, form a traffic space and activity space similar to a “corridor”.
New Century Resort Gaochun Nanjing. The entrance of the resort is hidden on the east side of the streets and lanes, and space is transformed and connected with “pavilions”. This kind of layout ensures the unique immersive resort environment and conveys all the best natural scenery around the water system to the guest room area. The resort contains a total of 55 guest rooms, 3 specialty restaurants, 3 meeting rooms, 2 gyms, as well as leisure and entertainment facilities. The guest room area maintains a similar proportion and scale to the residential settlements, which mainly consist of short individual buildings that are arranged linearly along the “water”. The public area is set back in the shape of a large rectangular volume that connects to the main entrance.
Viewed vertically, the design cleverly utilizes the topography characteristics, sinking the restaurant on the first floor to form a courtyard, and the lobby on the second floor is connected to the main entrance. The sunken courtyard is appropriately filled with the landscape imagery of Jiangnan gardens such as pavilions, mountains, and rocks, and provides the necessary lighting, ventilation, and landscape environment for the restaurant. The lobby is an important node of the resort. It is located in the center of the landscape axis, the slightly elevated topography makes the landscape view wider. From a horizontal perspective, the individual guest rooms are staggered to a certain extent and connected by glass bridges. The purpose is to strive for a landscape view for all guest rooms and to ensure accessibility and privacy. At the same time, the interspersed and series of masses also create activity spaces such as patio courtyards and open-air platforms.
Suitable Form and Material. A panel embedded in a gray brick wall defines the entrance of the resort. The blue bricks of the masonry wall are all from the site, and the reused old bricks are combined with the glass openings to form a virtual and real facade, creating a low-key and stable image. A sloping roof-shaped glass façade is ingeniously embedded on the south side of the flat-roofed public volume, which not only provides an unobstructed view for the restaurant and lobby but also maintains a unified form along with the lake interface. The individual guest rooms have three floors. The first and second floors inherit the blue bricks of traditional residential buildings. The third floor is set back to form a family suite with a terrace, which relieves the oppressing sensation of the three-story building on the landscape view to a certain extent.
Wooden grilles and black metal meshes run through the inside and outside as “hidden” clues, translating and incorporating the translucent attributes of door leaves of traditional architecture into the guest room buildings, increasing the spatial dimension and interestingness. With its hidden sense of privacy and meticulous delicacy, New Century Resort Gaochun Nanjing welcomes and accommodates tourists from all over the world, and provides a holiday experience integrating traditional culture, natural landscape, and modern comfort. What’s more, the visitor center and commercial street have also become the urban living rooms of surrounding residents, and the rich urban scene has been and will continue to be integrated into the new life of the old city.