SOM LAND hostel on Shanghai’s Chongming Island integrates with the natural environment and local customs through low-maintenance gardens, protective renovation of old buildings, and optimizing sunlight and views in the new building’s design by RooMoo Design Studio.

  • area / size 6,803 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Shanghai, China,
  • Type Hotel,
  • The Resort’s name ‘SOM LAND’ comes from the traditional Chinese color, warm green between the mottled gaps in the tree shadows, representing a state of relaxation and slow-paced life.

    Design Inspiration / Being close to nature is the source of inspiration for transformation
    SOM LAND, located on Shanghai’s Chongming Island, is a resort space in harmony with the natural countryside and combines local customs and handicrafts. In terms of overall space arrangement and planning, SOM LAND focuses on nature and humanistic traditions. The site encounters water on both sides and is adjacent to Laoji Port and Hongmei Road, surrounded by national shelter forests and rivers. Therefore, properly integrating with the natural environment is the primary consideration in the design.

    SOMLAND’s outdoor garden’s design follows the natural environment’s “low maintenance” and “letting plants grow naturally” style. For the two old houses on-site, we adopted a protective renovation method for the overall design based on the requirements of Chongming’s local building regulations (the building renovation should follow the original building height and the vertical shadow range). The old two-floor building is renovated into a three-floor accommodation building; the original tool hose is transformed into the reception building for the overall resort. The interior of the building is re-planned by “increasing the number of floors,” “adjusting the layout of rooms,” and “relocation of stairs,” while the exterior of the building is re-designed for “roof shape,” “windows location and size,” and “external wall decoration,” etc.

    Design Concepts / The choice of space rationalization
    For designers, space renovation projects often require more careful consideration. Because the original building has problems, it is necessary to adjust the old and inappropriate space layout and add new design strategies to provide reconstruction to match the new requirements. Therefore, reflecting the “SOMLAND” idea, we choose “moderate restraint” as the most critical direction when renovating the two old buildings.

    A total of 552 square meters of space in the accommodation building mainly provides resort room functions. While keeping the height of the original building unchanged, the height of each floor was optimized, and the actual 2-floors structure was changed to 3 floors, increasing the number of rooms. At the same time, to maximize the view of the room, we relocated the original staircase to the middle of the north side of the building to optimize the moving line and support the best visual view for resort guests.

    After we raised the main building by one floor and adjusted the position of the stairs, we hoped to invite the sunlight to the rooms and spaces of the whole floor, so in addition to the best sunlight from the south, The staircase with the top of transparent glass and steel frame structure, allows sunlight to fall naturally into the room corridor. Also, the quantity and size of the original windows are preserved and organically distributed on the facade of the new building, retaining the visual symbolism of the old building.

    For the original tool house, after the renovation, the new function became a kitchen, multi-functional activity area (dining, baking, music show, etc.), include reception, and two restrooms.

    We first use a transparent glass and wood frame structure with a folding door system to achieve the western space extension and bring more natural light into the space. After that, the most eye-catching thing in the interior space is the old brick fireplace placed under the curved bamboo ceiling. In addition to the actual heating function provided by the fireplace, various functional activities are available around the fireplace. Additionally, the transparent glass structure on the top also attracts light, and the visual sense of sunlight passing through the laminated bamboo slate curve also shows the warmth of the four seasons, and it is also a characteristic point that echoes the accommodation building.

    Design: RooMoo Design Studio
    Photography: Wen Studio