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B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio：The project is located in an ancient house in the old city of Suzhou. The house covers an area of 2,500 square meters. The old house was built in the Qing Dynasty with a history of one hundred years, which is a typical garden garden in Suzhou. The whole garden consists of eight courtyards of different sizes, with four halls and pavilions in front and back. Four of them are ancient wooden buildings in the Qing Dynasty, and the other four are brick and concrete structures that were later expanded. Before the renovation of the old house natural decline serious phenomenon, many places in disrepair, has lost the breath of life. The design content includes the transformation of ancient and modern buildings, interior design and courtyard transformation, and the transformation of the old house into a modern cultural and tourism apartment.
For the renovation of the four old houses, all the original wooden structure is preserved with simple reinforcement and restoration. Since the lack of maintenance, the building status no longer suits modern lifestyles, the main focus is to resolve functions that can meet the needs of modern daily life, such as air conditioning, heating system, shower room etc. The red paint from the original wood structure is removed and changes to black paint using the traditional lacquer process, together with natural wood frame of the windows and doors, reflect the beauty and elegance of the old architecture.
Materials with natural textures such as stones, walnut wood are used for the interior space, setting a simple and natural tone. For the renovation of the concrete structure buildings, the design goes for a more relaxed and modern atmosphere using pure and minimalist language. Comparing to the old houses, materials with lighter color are used such as oak wood and light grey terrazzo floor. By boldly introducing the modern design into the historic garden, the juxtaposition of old and new shows an interesting dialogue between the tradition and the modern lifestyle.
The whole house was a private house belonging to one family in the history. Although it will be transformed into a modern apartment, the design concept is to continue the original spirit and spatial experience of the old house, rather than to divide the house into isolated guest rooms. For each guest, not only have their own private space, more can come out in the whole garden and communicate with others. In addition to the 15 rooms as guest rooms, more than half of the garden space is used as public space, such as the public kitchen, study, bar, and even the public pool. Cooking, fitness, recreation and other functions can be completed not only in one’s own room, but also in the garden with others in a shared mode of realization, the meaning of home is expanded in concept and space. The overall functional layout completes the transition and transformation from the public to the private as the courtyard progresses from the south entrance to the north.
▼客房 The guest rooms
Courtyard is the most beautiful space in Suzhou ancient house, the courtyard has become another design focus. Old house, every ancient building has an independent courtyard, there is no courtyard room in the original pattern in the design, also deliberately put aside one part of space to be used as a courtyard. Residence is no longer closed, indoor and outdoor are connected, and courtyards are connected to courtyards, which continues the appeal of Suzhou gardens. Space flows with people’s walking changes, and people’s sensory experience is dynamic. The highlight is the entrance space, where the original parking lot has been transformed into a stone courtyard and a water courtyard. Through the cast concrete walls of the bamboo forest, guests returning home are transformed from the natural rhythm of the city outside to the peaceful and natural atmosphere of the garden. Sunken seats in the pool allow people to rest closer to the water and trees, bringing a different perspective and experience. Through the renovation of the courtyard, the harmony between movement and tranquility, city and nature, has been achieved to the maximum extent.
▼改造后的连廊 After the renovation of the corridor
▼露台俯瞰视角 Terrace overlooking perspective
Old house renovation is a kind of dialogue with the history, the more and more city people tend to live alone times of individual life, hope that through suzhou old house renovation, creating a break private line, let people, between human and nature can create communication space, this is a kind of exploration of new way of life, is also a kind of new thinking of the ancient city of update patterns.
▼概念生成 Concept generation
▼平面图 The floor plan
设计周期：01.2017 – 05.2017
施工周期：05.2017 – 09.2017
Project Name: Historic House Renovation in Suzhou
Project Location: Suzhou, China
Project Type: Residence
Architect: Shuhei Aoyama, Yoko Fujii, Lingzi Liu, Liman Wei, Shiting Zhang, Guang Yang, B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
Building Area: 2500m²
Materials: Desais rock board, terrazzo, natural Mongolian black stone, natural Shanxi black stone, Nippon paint, oak, black walnut
Design Period: 01.2017 – 05.2017
Construction Period: 05.2017 – 09.2017
Photography Credit: Eiichi Kano
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