DAS Lab designs Lost Villa Boutique Hotel in Zhongwei, Ningxia

DAS Lab,

Schran Studio / Su Shengliang,

touristic complex, Zhongwei, Ningxia, China, Free Time, Hotel,


On the banks of the Yellow River, not far from the desert heading towards Mongolia, the Lost Villa Boutique Hotel designed by the Chinese studio DAS Lab has been built in Zhongwei, Ningxia, China. The project strives to blend in with nature to avoid disturbing the landscape it invites you to enjoy.

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DAS Lab designs Lost Villa Boutique Hotel in Zhongwei, Ningxia We’re almost at the end of the year, a time when many of us would just love to get away from the hectic pace of this period and simply rest. So, we present to you the Lost Villa Boutique Hotel, designed by the Chinese studio DAS Lab, and located on the banks of the Yellow River, China’s second-longest waterway. Here in Zhongwei, in the prefecture of, 1200 metres above sea level, is a desert climate, with very little rainfall and very cold, dry winters. A number of initiatives are being rolled out to counter the desertification, with its advancing sand dunes, fed by the Gobi Desert, whose Chinese extension is, near the Yellow River, the cradle of civilisation in this remote region of China.
The Shapotou district is an interesting example in this sense, given that the local government’s efforts are focusing on the creation of a green belt, dedicated to agriculture and to tourism, providing a great, convenient base for people who want to explore the desert. An economy that attracts large numbers of Chinese and international visitors every year. And it is here, in Dawan village, that the new hotel by DAS Lab stands.
The hotel complex follows the concept of multi-building hospitality and here, the 15 guest lodges sit beautifully in the natural backdrop. The architecture is a reference to local styles, with low, partially inground constructions, patios and courtyards that all encourage outdoor life. The designers also made the very important decision to coat the outside walls of the buildings with a special cement mortar finish that recreates the rammed earth texture of local architecture.
Considering the region’s extreme climate, the architects opted for passive design solutions to improve the energy performance of the buildings. With the exception of the large windows on the sides overlooking the landscape, the facades have very few openings. This meant re-examining the relationship between windows, light, space and occupants, and makes a stay in the Lost Villa Boutique Hotel an immersive experience, which takes in the landscape spanning the green zone near the river and the desert further away from the water. However, it also gives guests calm, peaceful indoor environments where they can recuperate equilibrium and wellness. Here, light is a key element, changing intensity as the day follows its natural rhythm and conveying the zone’s spirituality.
The interior decor is subtle and user-friendly at the same time. Rooms with a special space for children on a mezzanine floor makes this hotel a great place for families too, where the kids get to enjoy their very own retreat.
The Lost Villa Boutique Hotel in Zhongwei, Ningxia by DAS Lab really is a perfect base that guests can relax in after exploring the desert. A place where they can charge their batteries in a harmonious backdrop, close to the majestic nature and in architecture that is respectful of the context.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: DAS Lab
Location: Zhongwei, Ningxia, China
Year: 2019
Images: Schran Studio / Su Shengliang


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