PURE HOUSE BOUTIQUE HOTEL || Nature Retreat in Dali, China

Here you will rediscover humility and inner peace. 

Snow-capped peaks gently part the clouds and reach into the heavens, and the 19 peaks of Cangshan Mountain in Dali, China, create a soothing landscape where the slopes are covered in lush greenery. A stream originates from each of the 19 peaks, flowing through the city and village at the foot of the mountain. The streams flow into the majestic Erhai Lake, and at the foot of Cangshan Mountain, vibrant blooms of peaches, plums and camellia remind us of simple yet intoxicating beauty that can only be found in nature. 

The Pure House Boutique Hotel is nestled between the soaring Cangshan Mountain and the serene Erhai Lake, a most optimal location. 

The exterior architecture exudes a sense of humility, with its muted colour palette and natural material. The entrance is hidden from sight, dipping a few steps below street level. 

An inconspicuous entrance is off to the side of the building, with a mirror pool in the side yard. In the courtyard you will find an ancient Malus asiatica fruit tree, with a seating area under it where one can enjoy their morning tea. 

As you pass through the entryway into the reception area, you discover a double-height lobby, with courtyards at the front and back, creating a sense of spaciousness and drawing in natural light. At the center of the lobby, a huge top-hung fireplace anchors the space, and other common areas are scattered around it. 

The fabrics of the sofas, the woven chairs and lived-in wooden tables all bring nature in. 

French windows between the two yards and the lobby create a sightline connecting the front yard and back yard. It forms a feeling of transparency, interlaced with the main line formed by east-west stairs and walkways. The submerged front yard and back yard echo the natural slope, and at the same time avoids the distraction of pedestrian traffic on the major avenue, thus building a silent independent communication space.

Numerous common areas provide a point of relaxation, where one can relax and forget the passing of time, whether it's in the quiet reading room, or getting lost in the reflection of the convective clouds in the infinity pool while sinking deeper and deeper into the inviting armchairs. 

The top floor is the highlight of the building. A rectangular wading pool faces Erhai Lake, both acting as a mirror reflecting the most beautiful convective clouds in Dali, and also a delicate continuation to extend one's sight to a place far, far away. The infinity pool brings a sense of ceremony, showing respect for the natural beautiful scenery.

The side facing Cangshan Mountain is a sunlight room with three sides of transparent glass, the altitude difference of two steps slightly raises the space of the sunroom, bringing it closer to Cangshan. The furniture intentionally utilizes all low benches to give a feeling of zen when one sits cross-legged, surrounded by the green mountains. 

Each of the 13 guest rooms in the hotel is designed to meld harmoniously with natural light, with every detail considered to create attractive shadow variations in every corner. Windows are inserted into every side of the room, and even the furniture was selected based on how well its shadows work with natural light. 

The geometrical relationship of wooden cabinet, terrine and hanging decoration looks good against the shadow, therefore, every detail of the corner can withstand scrutiny.

Whereas other hotel rooms with its painstakingly perfected bedsheets encourage one to feel like a passerby or visitor, the designed interiors of the Pure House Hotel rooms is thoughtfully made to be welcoming. From the earthy and understated furniture to the minimal yet meticulously designed use of natural light, the space is intentionally created to make one feel at home. In such as tranquil environment, one also feels at peace. 

The temperature and humanity brought by the narrative space in the Pure House Hotel are the most attractive components, representing the oft-missed humanity value in functional design, responding to and merging with nature in a gentle manner, then softly blending the architecture into the surroundings. A combination of all the design elements offers guests a different physical and mental experience of residing.

Project Information

Architects: Yueji Architectural Design Office

Location: Diancang Shan, Eryuan, Dali, China

Design Team: Jun Li, Biao He, Xiangdong Xu, Ke Tan

Interior design: SIGNYAN DESIGN--Ke Xie, Hongxin Zhi

Area: 1500.0 m2

Project Year: 2015

Photos Courtesy of Yueji Architectural Design Office