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Qixi-Village

Waterfront Cottage

Type: Competition Work 

Collaborator: Chenyu Huang, Zhaoxuan Wang

Project: Cottage

Location: Qixi-Village, Zhejiang Province, China

Date: May, 2020

The project is located in Qixi Village of eastern Qixi Town, which is located in Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province. Over the past decade, Qixi Town and Kaihua County saw the transition of primary economic model from industrial and agricultural based, to one that values more on service and cultural industry, where beautiful natural scenery, tea plantation, and traditional wood carving culture are combined to create the so-called Ecological Tourism. With this new Ecological Tourism bringing economic boom and vast number of tourists, Qixi Town started the construction of many quality cottage and supplementary services destination in order to accommodate influx of tourists, also as means to introduce additional economic opportunity. This is where the project started.
The geographic location of the project takes advantage from beautiful natural scenery. The site is north to Qixi Reservoir, located at the intersection of Baiji Mountain and Majin Creek, the largest creek in Kaihua County, and south to Qianjiangyuan National Forest Park. East to the sites are existing low-rise residential buildings, which means the site is likely to be equipped with basic utility infrastructure, potentially reducing the cost of construction. The site is also at peak elevation among its immediate topography, which means it has the advantage to build a cottage that could see unobstructed panorama mountain and water scenery. North to the site is National Highway 205, which brings connectivity for the site with the rest of Zhejiang Province and adjacent Anhui Province and Jiangxi Province, where the site is at intersection of. 

Currently, there is a significant number of famous natural and cultural tourist destination within 3 hours driving radius of Qixi Town (whether inside or outside of Zhejiang Province), and there are also many tourists destinations within Kaihua County with matured designated tourist routes that connects multiple destinations together. Therefore, the targeting population for the project is a varied and flexible group, including but not limiting to the following: 1) short-term road trip tourists who temporarily reside at the Waterfront Cottage as they travel to their next destination; 2) Long-term road trip tourists who reside primarily at the Waterfront Cottage, to conveniently travel around adjacent destinations; 3) New or returning tourist who come from adjacent cities during weekends or holidays; 4) Tourist group; 5) Tourist with special purpose (e.g. performance, wedding, company/school trip, etc). In addition, by studying the Qixi town government work report for the past two decades, we can anticipate future efforts being made to introduce new tourists route that connect existing/future destinations more tightly, in order to mitigate economic pressure brought by existing difference in travelling peak and off-peak time and popular/non-popular destinations. Therefore, it is important that the project create flexible public space to satisfy diverse needs for activities/functions for varied tourist group at different time of the year.

After all research based on economic, cultural, environmental, and traffic context, we have the following consideration for primary program of the project. First, the project will provide basic lodging service, fulfilled by designing different size lodging room/villa to satisfy different tourist group. The dining hall will provide free breakfast and paid meal at other time. Second, design of public space within the project refer to the unique terraced tea/flower plantation scenery of Kaihua County, as well as tea culture and ecological tourism culture, to create spatial experience that is attractive for tourist to promote its image circulation via social media, and thereby bringing more tourist. 

Through massing exploration, we first connect a series of lodging and public program block through a circular looping form, which is most compatible to create space that allow unobstructed, panorama viewing experience into the mountain to the north, waterfront to eh south, and village to the east. Each program block has different inner/outer circumference, and this difference create shifted space that becomes outdoor shaded hallway/dining/balcony, which encourage outdoor activity/viewing with consideration of the plentiful sunshine and precipitation of local climate .

Tourists arrive at Waterfront Cottage from the east end of service area, passing consecutively through reception hall, souvenir shop, kayaking shop, cafe, and viewing hall. Tourists then use underground elevator or above ground stairs to reach the cottage. The terrace garden at the center refers to the numerous flower/tea terrace plantation in Kaihua County, with the purpose of introducing both "external" wild scenery and "internal" garden scenery for tourists. The terrace garden faces viewing platform. With the purpose of serving different needs, the terrace garden and viewing platform can combine to satisfy diverse spatial need, for exercising, exhibition, wedding, performance, party, and more.

Program blocks also descend from north to south according to topography, this is achieved visually by having different ceiling height and floor plate thickness. Public circulation starts from main hall and dining hall to the north, and circulate around the outdoor hallway in front of lodging room and villa on both east and west side, then finally reaching the viewing platform to the south. The two crossing axial circulation guides tourist to walk continuously from main hall down to waterfront towards the south, or from the west down to the service area to the east (these service areas are redeveloped by existing pigsty sheds). 

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