The villa in the ancient town of Xitang is inspired by vernacular architecture

Villa in the ancient town of Xitang combines luxury with Chinese vernacular architecture

Xitang Ancient Town Villa is the latest resort in the historic water town of Jiangnan region, southern China, Courtesy of Nature Times Art Design Co.

This new complex in the ancient town of Xitang is inspired by its context. Located in a historic water town in the Jiangnan region of southern China, the project, called Villa, is a hotel designed by design studio Nature Times Art Design Co, embraces local vernacular architecture to create a low, elegant and domestic space centered on a green and serene central courtyard. The place hopes to mix the old and the new, while being integrated into nature and into a new but homogeneous landscape.

The hospitality program is located in a new part of the city, next to another newly launched hotel and an urban and residential eco-village. Its concept aims to reflect this, combining modern luxury with sensitivity and respect for nature and the environment. A clean interior and minimalist architecture with nods to traditional Chinese architecture help create accents and subtle drama where needed, and secluded private spaces elsewhere, balancing visitor needs.

Indeed, the overall design balances various elements – landscape, art and design. In this context, the presence of nature was essential, so the designers worked with the “void” between volumes and clever gardening techniques to produce outdoor spaces engulfed in green. At the same time, irregularly cut stone pavers, winding walkways, terraces, and large floor-to-ceiling glazed openings merge inside and out, blurring the boundaries between the two.

Inside, natural wood and stone provide a tactility, looks and smells that nod to nature, again drawing inspiration from the wider surroundings of the development. Furniture and decoration also work in the same direction. ‘The original, introverted and gentle beauty of the objects is intensified, producing a soothing atmosphere. The placement of each object is meticulously thought out, which establishes a dialogue with the space. Visual composition is combined with spatial narratives. The imagery of mountain and water is reflected by objects, in close interaction with everyday life,” explains the design team.

Carefully framed views offer either subtle glimpses or majestic, full views of the landscaped courtyards, while maintaining the luxurious, pampering atmosphere inside each room. §

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