Wood In Architecture Issue 2, 2020

22 ISSUE 2 • 2020 • WOOD IN ARCHITECTURE THE BIG PICTURE XinXian Inn Hotel, designed by penda, now known as Precht, incorporates the atmosphere and history of Hutong areas into its design L ocated in Beijing, China, the XinXian Inn Hotel reinterprets its surrounding by its form and materiality. The hotel neighbours the Xinxian Hutong, a large area with traditional Chinese courtyard houses whereby entrances are nowmostly blocked by newly constructed commercial buildings. THE “OLD” BEIJING TOUCH For the hotel’s main façade, penda integrated a reversed view of a traditional Hutong House The original space of the guesthouse was composed of a small hall on the first floor, which is now used as a reception Throughout Beijing, the rich culture and vivid lifestyle of the Hutong areas are being replaced by high profitable and shallow real-estate blocks. And so with XinXian Inn Hotel, designed by penda, now known as Precht, it incorporates the atmosphere and history of Hutong areas into its design. The owner of the hotel, who loves Beijing Hutong areas, was intrigued by the idea and wanted to focus on the traditional forms and materials of the surrounding neighbourhood. “I remember, one day in late 2016, a young guy knocked on our office door and came in with an idea to revive a former traditional guesthouse,” recalled Dayong Sun, a member on the project. “He had also written down 4,000 Chinese characters that emphasised his vision, and the history and rich culture of the district. This impressed me deeply, so we got started right away.” A former traditional guesthouse, the 1,000 sqm building stretches across two floors, with small rooms and limited daylight. For the hotel’s main façade, the design team integrated a reversed view of a traditional Hutong House. The silhouette cut into a massive brick wall and was executed as a large glass façade which brings

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