Boatyard Hotel

The Boatyard Hotel by WJ STUDIO blends historical culture and nature, with rippling black-roofed buildings resembling crow-top boats, creating a three-dimensional space that captures the intersection of space and time.

  • area / size 12,917 sqft
  • Year 2023
  • Location Suzhou, China,
  • Type Hotel,
  • A river on a rainy day in Jiangnan is a dreamy scene – swaying and listening to the rain, waking up to catch the light, and walking slightly and elegantly. However, the most unforgettable memories, but often hidden in that invisible scenery.

    The wind breezes along the riverbank, and the poetic habitat of the waterfront slowly unfolds: under the moonlit arched bridge is a leisurely lifestyle; beyond the daily life is the peace of mind and the freedom without boundaries in this flowing affinity with nature.

    In the village of Shanwan in Wujiang District, Suzhou, the tranquillity of the idyllic town, the quiet expanse of the river and the historical culture blend. The Boatyard Hotel is located in this languid spatial landscape. The rippling black-roofed buildings are like the crow-top boats gathered and docked on the shore, sometimes melodious, sometimes serene and moving, becoming the finishing touch to the ink painting on the shore.

    WJ STUDIO is to give its indoor space rhyme and spatio-temporal experience. When people come to this place longing for the idyllic scenery of the water village, they do not know that they have already become a member of this scenery.

    Dialogue of time and space
    A three-dimensional space embraces things growing, evolving, and intersecting while time moves forward like a river. The images one captures in each moment are instantaneous landscapes – nature, fields, light and artificial design meet at the intersection of space and time.

    A Settlement in Time and Space
    A floating island with a few dead trees stretches as if to welcome and detail the passage of time. The hotel building is integrated with the surrounding natural landscape. The high and low arched roofs form a colony, just like the ships docked on the waterfront of the rising mountains.

    When you turn around and enter, a slightly arched trestle bridge and a crow-top boat are moored on the side. The light pours down from the dome’s skylight on a sunny day and is etched on the stone slab with time.

    If it rains, the water droplets keep falling on the canopy, and the scenic rocks and Jiangnan’s unique sound and colour are revealed in this area alone.

    Peaceful Dwelling
    When you live in nature, you are connected to the earth, and your heart will be at peace and calm with the wind of the field. Just as the artistic creation of the “docked boat” in the hotel expresses a semi-submerged state – may everyone who arrives here no longer wander and dwell in peace.

    Under the Dome
    The guest room area from the first floor to the second floor is like the climax of a journey, guiding the occupants upward with great interest. Light enters the reserved slits, creating a “line of sight” to the interior.

    The guest rooms on the second floor retain their high vaulted ceilings, buffered by a foyer, and then have a horizontal opening to the room layout. The tall and wide floor-to-ceiling windows are enough to incorporate the outdoor scenery into the interior. A seat in front of the window, a cup of tea, a pot of food, a vessel……a heart rests in peaceful living.

    Life is like a long boat, going for daily life and desire; love is the way back. At this moment, “the day on the boat” is to return to the essence of living and the deep meaning of the journey.

    Design: WJ STUDIO
    Design Team: Hu Zhile, Yang Xi, Yang Lilien, Zhou Shuyi, Ye Zi
    Architectural Design: GOA
    Photography: Zhu Hai, Zhang Xi