Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

Competition: South Wuxiang Mountain B&Bs, China

An international design and delivery contest has been launched for a series of innovative bed and breakfasts across China’s picturesque South Wuxiang Mountain district (Deadline: 22 January)

Open to teams of architects, designers and B&B operators, the competition seeks proposals for six small-scale hotels which will each be constructed on 1,000m² sites in Xuejia, Xiaoliujiadu, Shuijing Village, Li Zaifeng, Zhujia and Dongshantou.

The winning teams will receive cash prizes and subsidies to deliver new B&Bs in the picturesque villages, which are within the popular South Wuxiang Mountain district a short distance from busy Nanjing and the Yangtze River Delta.

South Wuxiang Mountain

South Wuxiang Mountain

South Wuxiang Mountain

According to the brief: ‘Wuxiang Mountain south of Lishui is rich in vegetation, high forest coverage, and scattered with cultural and historical attractions. The competition encourages the B&B owners and designers to form into teams and make the directional design for one site among the villages.

‘Teams can put forward creative programs suitable for implementation in various aspects of the overall positioning, village planning, industrial ecology, public landscape and individual bed and breakfast design.’

Wuxiang Mountain is a large scenic nature reserve located a short distance south of the town of Lishui and around 40 minutes travel from the nearby major city of Nanjing.

The competition aims to upgrade the quality and availability of small-scale accommodation within the area which lacks a developed B&B market despite increasing numbers of tourists.

The competition focuses on six separate villages including Xuejia which has a population of just 193 people and is famous for its fragrant Lei Gong Ao tea garden and the Avalokitesvara Temple Festival which is held on the first day of every lunar month at the nearby Lingyin Temple.

Shuijing Village next to Shijiu Lake where crabs are caught, Xiaoliujiadu which hosts many shrimp and rice fields, and mountainous Lizaifeng which hosts a lantern festival every spring also feature in the contest.

Submissions should include an A1 display board featuring conceptual plans for the new B&B along with a marketing and operational strategy for the hotel and a short 500-word summary of the scheme.

Competition judges include architect Ludong Gao, Songtsam Boutique Lodges founder Baima Duoji, Brickyard Retreat founders Jim Spear and Tang Liang, and the creator of the Qiansu Investment Fund, Qiwan.

Five winning teams will receive cash prizes worth ¥ 50,000 or construction subsidies worth up to ¥1,500,000 along with two year’s free rent followed by two year’s reduced rent on the project site.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 22 January

Contact details

Email: info@aim-competition.com

Visit the competition website for more information

Five Acre Barn case study: Q&A with Greg Blee

The co-founder of Blee Halligan Architects discusses lessons learned creating a new bed and breakfast in picturesque Suffolk, England

Greg Blee

Greg Blee

Greg Blee

How did your project deliver a landmark bed and breakfast in a unique and sensitive rural location?

In this age of Airbnb, a commission for a new B+B is rare. Historically a stay in a B+B would be filled with trepidation as the owner would be very present – like visiting a grandmother you didn’t know you had. The common facilities would be ad-hoc, and they were the last bastion of the toilet mat.

A B+B should sit between an Airbnb and a hotel. Service should be personal and friendly and you must feel at home. Although the emphasis is on the ‘bed’ we provided a variety of lounge spaces. In addition, the building should reflect the owner’s personality.

We focused on low cost, bold architecture. B+Bs should provide relatively cheap accommodation. We maximised the spatial connection to the landscape and designed an uncompromising and unusual building form, clad in cedar shingles, which beds itself into the landscape.

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

One of the key features was the gallery space. This is a widened corridor with clusters of furniture to offer semi-private lounge space. This doubles as an art gallery to showcase the work of local artists, further embedding the experience in the local context. We spent a lot of time considering the kitchen. Should it be hidden like a hotel or visible like a home? We concluded that connection with the owners was important and offered the opportunity to interact with them and share stories. This is all part of the experience. We opted for an open-plan living and kitchen.

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

What advice would you give to participants designing new bed and breakfasts for historic rural China?

A successful B+B should bridge between the landscape in which it sits, the owners’ personalities and the endeavours of the local community. It should offer the opportunity to interact but also provide various levels of privacy – from bedroom, reading nooks and also communal lounge space.

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects

Five Acre Barn by Blee Halligan Architects