Towards China’s eastern shoreline, just outside the bustle of its cultured namesake city, the Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat sits peacefully among leafy trees and manmade lakes. Its scenic location and boutique size — numbering just 20 rooms — make this hotel a retreat in every sense of the word. Tasked with transforming an old warehouse complex, Shanghai-based studio Neri&Hu designed the hotel as a mix of re-purposed structures with new elements, united by a grid of low brick walls.
With interconnected spaces and decorative pools, inspiration for the project stemmed from the archetypal courtyard house of Chinese architecture, offering a calming alternative to the imposing steel towers found in many major Chinese cities. Built to act in harmony with its surroundings, Tsingpu’s design blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior, as seen with exposed courtyards, tranquil gardens and perforated walls that allow light to pour through.
Walnut, white oak and reclaimed grey brick feature throughout, while secluded spaces and walled pathways help maintain a sense of privacy. Public areas include a theatre, a restaurant, a library and a teahouse, in addition to a bijou art gallery – although with many a framed view of scenery and sky, guests can simply pause and appreciate the landscape.