design et al are are delighted to announce that Shanghai Ben Zhe Architecture Design shortlisted for Hotel Under 50 Rooms – Global in the International Hotel & Property Awards 2019
Yu Hotel designed by Benzhe Architecture is located on East Fuxing Road, Shanghai, China, which is next to Yu Garden. It was originally an old hostel, but with the changes of times and urban renewal, the owner wanted to deconstruct the new meaning of B&B on the basis of reinforcing the existing structure.
The old hostel was comprised of four old buildings that were narrow, small with inadequate lighting on the inside. The key of the renovation project is spatial restructuring and bringing sunlight and nature to the interior space that used to be narrow and dark to begin with. After more than half a year, Benzhe Architecture have deconstructed and turned the old place into the complex whose interior relates to the exterior with courtyard inter-spaced in-between. It is comprised of waterfront landscaping, terrace, guest room, dining room, tea room and a garden, which enable it to combine the functionality and landscape of a B&B together and devote particular care for fine details.
The renovated Yu Hotel consists of two buildings. The relations among culture, nature and architecture were sorted out during the design process for the purpose of integrating them together. At the entrance is the roundabout wall built with black bricks that serves as transition between the openness and privacy of the space. By referencing to the characteristics of quadrangle dwellings in the north and courtyards of Shanghai, Benzhe Architecture took bold steps to squeeze out a yard in the centre of Shanghai where land is scarce and expensive, managed to bring the buildings that used to be isolated from each other together and made the guest rooms, lobby and cafe visually echo with one another at a distance.The large pieces of windows and steel plates have set the tone of clean cool colour, which serves as a contrast to the warm yellow light coming through the windows.
The guest rooms are in the south-facing main building. The different functions of the space inside the building are cleverly arranged and fit like a glove. The atrium perfectly brings the space in the corridor, terrace and the backyard together to achieve maximum openness of sight and space. The glass skylight ensures that the common area in the guest room is filled with light, which has totally changed the old rooms that used to be dim and shadowy. The staircase made of copper and solid wood serves the role of connecting the floors upstairs and downstairs. With the sunlight shining through the skylight, onto the white walls above stairs and hitting the terrazzo floor downstairs through the elevated glass trail in the atrium, the entire space becomes a coherent whose that’s very bright.