2023 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner – Zhecheng Resort Hotel | RUF Architects

Located in Zhecheng County, the project is about 2.5km away from Ronghu Lake, an important wetland park in the region, and is surrounded by many historic sites. The ancient Yellow River runs through Zhecheng City in the north-south direction, which is the link of the local water system. The project enjoys the ecological landscape and historical and cultural resources such as Ronghu Lake, and will be built into a unique resort hotel with Zhecheng characteristics.

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Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2023

Zhecheng Resort Hotel
Hospitality Architecture (Under Construction)

Ruf Architects

Bi Lei

Design Team
Zhou Ting, Jiang Yaxiao

Project Location
Zhecheng County, Shangqiu City, Shandong Province


©Ruf Architects

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In terms of geographic location and cultural context, the project presents the ultimate Oriental architectural design characteristics and the concept of human habitat culture, displays the profound history, humanistic consciousness and regional culture of the city, and is one of the carriers of “Chinese culture context”. In this design practice, the architects make full use of the water resources around the plot and introduce water into the garden, which contributes to the urban landscape resources, expands the water area and creates a new landscape, where the hotel floats on the water surface and the water and sky merge in one color. Based on the concept of “living on separate islands”, the design divides the hotel into 6 groups to identify 6 independent islands, which are not connected with each other and enjoy different views. The architects try to create a modern “spring water in Zhegou” scene, the hotel rooms are settled among the rivers, and the trend of island living carried by water culture interprets the meaningful and mellow experience of a quality life.

The layout of the hotel takes the traditional settlement space of Jiangnan riverside town as the prototype, in which the public space of traditional towns and the organization form of public and private spaces are particularly important research objects. According to the design, there is a wandering sequence of streets, and in the continuous walking, the subtle density, gathering and distribution and light and shadow changes of the settlement are constantly experienced, thus forming a modern peaceful water town. Here, the natural landscape is opened to the maximum extent, the boundary between indoor and outdoor and nature is dissolved, and the architecture and the flowing water play a beautiful music together. The design adopts the facade composition of a double-story pitched roof, which extends horizontally in different directions, forming a staggered and extended architectural scale visually, as well as a sense of enclosed space. Layers of staggered roofs make people feel like they are among traditional water town dwellings, which strengthens the sense of regional cultural heritage and history.

The hotel’s main building looks like a jade pendant overlooking the Ronghu Lake. The self-encircling hotel main building encloses the atrium space. The side of the building facing the Ronghu Lake presents an inverted V-shaped hole falling layer by layer, expressing the building’s acceptance of the external space. The interpenetrating interior and exterior spaces break the closed approach of traditional hotel inner courtyard. These individual buildings enclose several public space nodes of different scales, each node can be used as a rest place during roaming, and can also serve as space layout support for regional gathering and distribution because of its own public attributes, fully adapting to the needs of a modern hotel.

Visitors can temporarily stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city and abandon the distractions of life. Here, they can think and explore the mission of life, read books, drink tea, make incense, repose, do yoga, meditate, experience healing and hiking in the mountains. It not only provides the living experience and perception of Oriental culture, but also brings a self-promotion and exploration.