The revitalization of a rural area with respectfully designed guest rooms that blend into the stone village setting.

Located just outside the ancient city of Fenghuang in the Hunan Province, China, Lahao Village comprises slab stone houses nestled among forests and mountains. The settlement is a beautiful example of traditional architecture, but has remained almost empty. Through the Bona Villa project launched by the China Foundation For Poverty Alleviation, United Practice Architects (UPA) transformed one area of the village. And the goal? To revitalize the settlement and to link it to the outside world. Lahao Stone Houses is one of the 20 nationwide homestay projects designed to provide development opportunities in poverty-stricken rural areas.

The studio completed the architectural renovation, interior design, and landscaping of a cluster of twelve houses located on a hillside in the north area of the village. The buildings now include both residential areas and public facilities. Renovated with the utmost respect for tradition, the buildings feature stone exteriors and courtyards as well as new stone walls on the south side. Raised above the stone walls, the roofs seem to float above the solid bases. The studio preserved both the integrity of the original dwellings and the existing trees.

Carefully positioned windows provide privacy in the six homestays while bringing natural light deep inside the living spaces. The guest rooms boast wood flooring, white walls, and few pieces of furniture. Stone pathways link the houses while stairs provide access to different landscape views. Lahao Stone Houses features a blend of old and contemporary elements. While one house retains its rammed earth brick walls, another boasts a new tea room with a glazed facade. For this project, UPA used traditional methods to build new stone walls. The team also reused the wood from old houses and old objects that celebrate the village’s heritage and culture. Photographs© Lian He.

    string(5) "admin"
Tags: , , , ,

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

More for you

  • Pastrana I House

    An architectural project that explores the essence of a Mediterranean Levantine house. Located among the…

  • Sorrento Beach House

    A family holiday house designed with five pavilions. Built on the southeastern coast of Australia,…

  • Peninsula House

    A contemporary farmhouse that doubles as a gallery space for a large art collection. Nestled…

  • Diagonal House

    A brutalist house nestled in a rocky landscape on a Greek island. Built on a…

  • Emma’s House

    A modern house partly built within the ruins of a stable in the Italian Alps….

  • Threshold Stairs House

    A Corten steel and wood extension designed for an existing house in Spain. Situated in…

  • Redhill Barn

    A farm building from 1810 transformed into a warm house that celebrates its past. Located…

  • The Brook

    A tiny house that’s big on comfort and sustainable design. Designed and built by Australian…

  • Casa del Sapo

    A concrete house built on a beach in Oaxaca, Mexico. Contemporary Mexican architecture merges traditional…

  • Kostelec Residence

    An elongated one-story volume built in the countryside in the Cezch Republic. Located in the…

  • Alexander House

    An architecture firm’s office, this house is also a residential architecture showcase. Designed by architecture…

Around the world

  • Plácido y Grata Hotel

    A boutique hotel located in a restored manor house from the 19th century. After years…

  • Heckfield Place

    Refined design and sustainability meet in a high-end biodynamic hotel in Hampshire, England. Baptized by…

  • Baja Club Hotel

    A colonial-style villa from 1910 and a contemporary volume transformed into a refined lifestyle hotel….

  • Piaule Catskill

    A tranquil retreat in upstate New York. After founding their own homeware brand, Piaule, in…

loader