the new hotel south taihu in huzhou, china, by gad

hotel south taihu is located on the panoramic xiaomei mountain

the newly built hotel south taihu in huzhou, China, is located on the east slope of xiaomei mountain overlooking taihu lake. completed by Great, this intervention tries to revive the charm of the panoramic landscape, which has suffered from erratic architectural developments since the early 1980s.

The resulting design is expansive and stretched horizontally hotel Complex of about 59,000 m² with 23 buildings scattered over the mountain forest. the horizontal layout strategy reduces the building density, while the diversification ensures the ecological preservation of the xiaomei mountain. ‘With Many original streets and vegetation have been preserved, the place is endowed with more emotions and memories while respecting nature and history.‘ shares gad.

pictures of bowen hou and gad

Adaptation to the complex mountain terrain

The original terrain is high to the west and low to the east – with a drop of 45 meters. Dealing with such a complex landform, the Gad team had to follow a set of principles: maximum land conservation, minimum excavation, large streams of people at the base and small streams at the top.

Therefore, the existing public road was integrated in a zigzag to connect all parts of the hotel and to organize traffic at entrances and exits. In addition, the architects have placed the banquet hall, the hotel lobby and the VIP building at heights of 9 m, 32 m and 54 m, respectively, according to the principle of the “flow of people”. All of the guest rooms now blend into the grounds and are spread out to offer great views of the area.


The architectural form is a combination of stripes and dots

The overall layout extends from both sides and is complemented by a large L-shaped public area in the middle overlooking Taihu Lake. As the landscape stretches horizontally, the above-seated lobby blends seamlessly with the lake’s surface through an infinity-edge landscaped pool that mirrors the oval-shaped moon hotel.

in the lobby, guests can enjoy an all-day dining restaurant, fitness level pool, chinese dining area, meeting rooms and logistic facilities that respond to landscape conditions.

Conservation and regeneration between water and mountains Hotel South Taihu 8
Buildings hidden in the wooded landscape

horizontal, one-story buildings “one” with the landscape

Diving deep into the new architectural layout, Gad adopted a design scheme that reduced the original building capacity by 1/3 and resorted to a “horizontal stacking” technique to match the mountainous context. In particular, the buildings are mainly single-storey structures that follow point and stripe typologies to increase visual accessibility, green roofs and spatial breathability.

To emphasize the architectural direction, deep horizontal cornices adorn the building’s facades, which are finished in tones reminiscent of the famous Taihu stone. In fact, Gad used granite, with significant differences in color and width, and combined it with rubble. Together, these materials create a harmonious overall tone that blends into the wooded landscape.

Conservation and regeneration between water and mountains Hotel South Taihu 9
semi-enclosed garden area

landscape maintenance and plugging

For vegetation, the strategy was to preserve trees of high landscape value and large trunk diameters – including camphor, Michelia alba and pine species. Areas without green were restored using the stuffing technique. enclosed and semi-enclosed courtyards of all sizes are therefore designed between and within several buildings; The former act as an extension of the interior spaces, introducing natural light and wind to complement the existing outdoor landscape.

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