Sky Yards Hotel – Simply Zen

The Sky Yards Hotel, located in Xiuwu County, Henan Province, China, was designed by Domain Architects from Shanghai.

Surrounded by unfinished buildings, wasteland and industrial sites, the project was definitely not blessed with beautiful surroundings. Despite the temporarily unfavourable conditions, Taihang Mountain is still visible.
Using a straightforward and consistent method, the designers invented a ‘room + micro-yard’ model for their hotel design. Devoid of superficial visual elements of Chinese or local culture, Sky Yards evokes the traditional Chinese garden-making methodology of concealing and revealing.

Usually, a hotel room is designed as an outward box to maximize the view. Consequently, a typical hotel building would be a collection of opened boxes. We rejected this conventional model and returned to the starting point of design: the room experience. We reinvented the experience in a typical unit: first, the exterior view below eye level is blocked, while the view above is left open. Then the opening is lifted or enlarged to invite more light and air. Finally, full-size glass doors divided the unit into a combination of interior room and exterior micro courtyard, while the boundary in between is highly blurred. During different times in the day, the sunlight interacts with the curved wall of the opening in different ways, producing a dramatic and moving atmosphere.

Xiaomeng Xu, architect and founder of Domain Architects

  • Lead Architects: Xiaomeng Xu
  • Design Team: Xiaomeng Xu, Chun Wang
  • Interior Design: Xiaomeng Xu, Hannah Wang
  • Landscape Design: Xiaomeng Xu
  • Photo credits: Chao Zhang