recycled red bricks and reed bundles build a hostel in Shanghai

RooMoo’s hostel in Shanghai celebrates life at a slow pace

Chinese design studio RooMoo reconstructs an old building turning it into a resort space that stands in harmony with its natural landscape Chongming Island in Shanghai. ‘SOM LAND’ hotel Named after the traditional Chinese color of warm green that evokes dotted gaps in the shadows of trees and celebrates life at a slow pace. Following a moderately restrained renovation plan, the project combines local customs and crafts with an overall layout that is not detrimental to its surroundings, instead integrating it into the architectural scheme.

The accommodation unit is located between Laoji Harbor and Hongmei Road meeting water on both sides adjacent to national forest and river conservation areas. Both the location of the construction and the management of the plantation enhance the connection with nature following a “low maintenance” organic development in favor of naturally growing vegetation. According to the sustainable design method, the design uses recycled old wood boards, wasted red bricksbundles of reeds and tree branches found at the site, bambooand other locally sourced or discarded materials to reduce waste.

Guesthouse ‘SOM LAND’ by RooMoo | all images by Wen Studio

A modest renovation plan optimizes the layout

Design studio based in Shanghai RooMoo adopts a protective renovation plan to design the hostel by reconstructing the two existing buildings on site to optimize the space. Following Chongming’s local building regulations, the project maintains the height and vertical shadow span of the original two-story structure, while rearranging the space to form a three-story residential unit. The original toolbox is transformed into a general receiving volume. The exterior reshapes the roof shape, window location and size, and exterior facades, while the interior increases the number of floors, adjusts the room layout, and relocates the main staircases.

New design strategies provide space reconstruction that matches the new requirements of the hostel by adapting the overall layout. The studio’s critical direction of “moderate containment” renovates the existing building by optimizing the height of each floor and avoiding vertical expansion of the entire structure. The resort benefits from a repositioning of the main staircase to the middle of the north side enhancing traffic flow and visual continuity of the interior. A clear glass and steel frame skylight sits atop the common area distributing natural light throughout. The number and size of window openings are maintained and organically distributed on the facade.

recycled red bricks and reed bundles build a hostel in Shanghai
the project maintains the original height of the structure forming a three-story hospitality unit

roomoo applies locally sourced and reused materials

The design assembles a new multi-functional zone that serves as a kitchen and dining room, which includes a reception and two toilets. A transparent glass and wood frame with a folding door system achieves the western extension of the space by bringing more sunlight inside. One of the most exciting features of the layout is a fireplace made of repurposed bricks under a curved bamboo roof. Laminated curved bamboo panels protrude above the common area creating a warm atmosphere.

The design method followed for the construction of the hostel develops a “non-engineered” standardized production by applying local material sourced from the premises. Recycled bricks, demolished wood from the original building, natural clay paint, tree branches and old fabric make up both indoor and outdoor spaces. The concave-convex texture of the facade lays reused bricks in a typical Chongming pattern, while the renovated roof system is formed from reeds in the manner of local traditional crafts. Easy-to-collect tied branches protect the structure from wind and rainwater.

recycled red bricks and reed bundles build a hostel in Shanghai
the spatial arrangement incorporates the surrounding physical environment into the architectural scheme

roomoo hostel
a transparent glass and wood frame with a folding door system achieves the western extension of the space

roomoo hostel
The exterior walls apply reused bricks and the renovated roof system is formed from reeds

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