ZJJZ Atelier has completed a cluster of ellipsoidal holiday cabins for a woodland hotel in Jiangxi, China, which are wrapped in wooden shingles and mirrored aluminium tiles.
“When this project began, the client wanted the buildings to be designed based on a form found in nature. Instead of creating merely imitative forms, however, we focused on developing the spatial experience by staging views and establishing the relationship between the structures and their surrounding environment. Eventually, four houses, the Seeds, were constructed. They seemed to arise from another dimension, looking nothing like we had originally planned” explain the architects.
Seed houses have continuous, ellipsoidal surfaces with mirrored aluminum facades that meet pine shingles. It reflects the surrounding environment, the changing weather, and the seasons. When wet, the metal surface resembles red soil in winter, green plants in spring and summer, and sunshine on a sunny day. Each house is anchored to the earth by this reflective cladding, while the pine shingles give the structures a warm, soft aesthetic, helping the buildings blend into the nature.
In order to meet the functional requirements of these buildings, the houses have several circular openings that allow internal sightliness to branch off in different directions. In this case, the circular hole on the front of the structure leads to the terrace, which looks like a stone platform floating on its own foundations. Shade is provided by a tree on the terrace; a round window on the side of the building faces sparse woods, and a large round window in the attic reveals the sky and tall trees.
Seed houses are built with wood panels, and the stripes formed by the colour differentiation of the wood further emphasize the ellipsoidal shape of each building. The master bedroom is located behind the entrance, bathroom, and room for storage. There is an attic above this main space, and it is a perfect spot for children to play. The attic and first floor are connected by an elliptical staircase that intersects the entryway to create an intriguing, carved-out space.