The Yun Lu

A boutique hotel in rural China

18 November 2019

Respecting mother nature in a minimalist way, Atelier Liu Yuyang reuses 5 old farmhouses to create an eco-resort nestled within a village in Guangxi, between Guilin and Yangshuo, and situated along the dramatic landscape of the Li River.

Yun Lu means Cloud House; it’s a boutique hotel located in a mountainous river valley village.

The Shanghai based architecture studio Atelier Liu Yuyang overhauled five disused historical farmhouses to create 23 guest rooms and designed a new addition which functions as a restaurant and the main gathering space for hotel guests, taking on a sensitive approach to the local culture with villagers still living nearby and respecting the original village structure.

The rammed earthed buildings were retrofitted to accommodate refreshing and uncompromisingly contemporary living, while maintaining their modest and unpretentious finishes. This is also reflected internally, where Atelier Liu Yuyang has lined the interiors with pared-back furnishings and a material palette of concrete, wood and black steel.

The new restaurant addition adopts an understated presence with the use of steel frame, glass pivot doors and windows, rough-cut stone blocks, charcoal treated wooden louvres and terra-cotta roof tiles.

This is adorned with a "tactile" material palette of locally sourced stone blocks, charcoal-treated wooden louvers and terracotta roof tiles.

On the opposite side of the site, the XY Yunlu Hotel is complete with a swimming pool that overlooks the site and views towards the surrounding mountains.

Designed to meet the site's sloped topography, the pool is split over two levels and also envelops an existing soapberry tree on the site. The upper level of the pool is sheltered by the hotel's minimal yoga pavilion built from a simple steel frame. It is topped by a sinuous steel canopy and punctured by a skylight that provides users with "views towards mountains, clouds, and stars".


Photo: Su Shengliang