In culmination of the two organization's shared annual awards program, the World Architecture Festival and INSIDE Festival of Interiors have just named the Capsule Hostel and Bookstore in Qinglongwu, China as the 2021 winner of the World Interior of the Year prize.
The design features a 20-person hostel and community bookstore space inserted into a 232-square-meter (2,500-square-foot) stone house set amongst the richly forested landscape of Zhejiang Province.
Atelier tao+c's intention was to explore the idea of a “building within a
building” by transforming the former mountainside residence into a
combination of different competing uses with the particular challenge of
ensuring privacy for the hostel guests while enacting a workable
network of wayfinding for customers of the bookstore.
Judges commended the project for its “sensitive and inventive remodeling of a modest traditional building in a remote setting,” stating that it was “a cross between a beehive, a climbing frame, and a pagoda” and a “beautiful hybrid idea executed with poetry, sophistication, and warmth.”
This was accomplished by first opening up the ground level through the removal of partitions and original flooring. Two separate independent floating structures were then introduced above the new library area, providing space for ten capsules and a bathroom in each as well as dividing the mass to create versatile seating and sleeping arrangements for guests of the hostel.
The exterior was carefully renovated to ensure the deliberate simplicity of the interior capsule rooms. A transparent structure was thus introduced in place of an old gable wall at the east end of the building to satisfy the architect’s desire to provide sweeping views of the surrounding landscape while at the same time flooding the cozy living area with a warm natural light.
The award was judged by a “super panel” of jurists which included design luminaries like Nigel Caotes and Yael Reisner. Atelier tao+c beat out over 100 other finalists across 11 different categories who will all try again for the 2022 top spot when the festival reconvenes next year for its 15th edition in Lisbon.
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