In the deep forests of Tonglu in eastern China, Atelier tao+c transforms a traditional building made of wood and earth into a capsule hotel and public library where the book shelves become the walls of 20 mini rooms.
An old house of wood structure and mud walls is entrenched along a road in the village, facing the green mountains in the south and east side and a lower courtyard in the north. Commissioned by the client, Atelier tao+c redesigned and regenerated this 232sqm old building by inserting a capsule hotel that can accommodate 20 people, a community bookstore and library into the 7.2-meter high two-stories space. The biggest challenge to the architects, and the key to the design, is to ensure the privacy of the accommodation area while giving openness and continuity to the public areas within such a compact space.
The exterior renovation is an extension as well as a reflection on the reorganization of the interior spaces. Based on the vertical programming of the capsule rooms, the architects made restrained openings on the exterior wall to maintain the original simplicity of the building.
"At twilight, the whole building is illuminated by light from the interior, and the building itself becomes a lighthouse, offering a slice of warmth to the calmness of the night," said the studio.