Macau-based Studio Avoid recently completed the Grotto Retreat Hostel in Xiyaotou, a small village in China’s Hebei province, as part of a program to boost interest and promote tourism in the country’s rural areas.
The area is known for a network of traditional cave houses, which served as the studio’s inspiration for the hostel’s architecture. The hostel is composed of a smattering of vertical pods that are connected to each other by elevated walkways, a design that reinterprets a community where public and private life coexist.
Visitors are immediately taken by the verticality of the space. Soaring to a height of seven meters, the grottos are topped with skylight ceilings, a major source of natural light and a nod to the local community’s “dawn to dusk” work rhythm. The double-layer grey brick cladding retains warmth in the winter, while the pods’ organic forms help discharge heat via a chimney effect during the summer.
The raised wooden walkways place visitors at eye level with the surrounding trees as they meander between the pods. The hostel relishes in the ruralism of China, offering a glimpse of the future from its past. Follow the studio on Instagram, and see more hotel architecture in China.