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Dali is the god-given place based on its excellent natural scenery and cultural environment. It was represented in the article of Wang Shixing, the geographer in Ming Dynasty: “The Cangshan Mountain has 19 peaks, all the peaks are always covered with snow, snow still exists in May. But camellia and peaches and plums have bloomed with bright color at the foot of the mountain. Also, among the 19 peaks of the Cangshan Mountain, there is a stream originated from each peak and jointed into the Erhai Lake. Above the side of the river and the foot of the mountain, there are people living there. Four streams flow into the city, and the other 15 streams flow through the village, the stream comes across every square of the field of Dali people.

Every April and May, it often suddenly rains here, and suddenly clears up, for just a field apart. When it is raining, people will do the transplanting, when it is sunny, people will harvest the wheat. As for this scene, it is called “Field and stream, sunny and rainy”. This place has been regarded as a paradise, isn’t it?I have been travelling around the country. This is the only place that makes me intoxicated. I would like to put aside the common life to live in seclusion here.” Dali has nourished a lot of interesting architectural practice, it provides a brand-new intervention form for the design with unique site environment. Pure House Boutique Hotel is located in the Cangshan International Golf Community of Dali.

With Cangshan Mountain on the back and Erhai Lake in front, it is the place with excellent geomantic culture. The geographical location of the foot of Cangshan provides the view of the whole Erhai Lake and ancient Dali City. To watch from the east side, the pavilions of Chongsheng Temple from not far away are continuous from the Three Pagodas to the hillside of Cangshan. The audience hall of double eaves is hidden by thick forests. You will enjoy the magnificence of the Dali mountains and rivers in a glance of here. The building has been blended in the site with humbleness. Close to Cangshan and overlooking Erhai, combined with the nature harmoniously. The building is located on the slope of the foot of Cangshan.

The mountain is covered by luxuriant greenery, which spreads all the way up, goes through the clouds and mists in the mountains, eventually combines with the snow and clouds on the peak. Stay in the building and look up toward Cangshan, you will feel “lofty”, green peak floating in the clouds and mists. The mountain is towering like in the painting Landscape Travelers Among Mountains and Streams; Across the cascading mountain and farmland to watch Dali City in a distance, you will feel “profound and lasting”. The houses are built vertically and horizontally like in the painting Dwelling in the Qingbian Mountains. Stand on the terrace of the roof and overlook the lake, you will feel “peaceful and lasting”, the water is clear, the boat is floating, the peaceful and spacious scene is like in the painting Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.

Pure House creates a unique spatial experience based on a series of narrative spaces integrating with narrative sites. The entrance is at the corner of the architecture. It is not very conspicuous. There are several steps under the ground. Against it, there is a mirror pool in the side yard. There stands an old and tall Malus asiatica fruit tree. Pass the entrance porch, reach the reception room, and start the space experience in an indirect way. The entrance space is located in the central lobby with double height, which is the core of the entire ground floor. At the center, a huge top-hung fireplace strengthens the core sense of the space while other public areas are scattered around it. There is a yard both in front and at the back of the lobby.

It can add light and provide inward scenery for the submerged ground floor. There is French window between the two yards and the lobby, the sight can reach front yard and back yard. It forms the feeling of transparency, in the meanwhile, it is interlaced with the main line formed by east-west stairs and walkways. The submerged front yard and back yard are the echo for the natural slope, at the same time it avoids the distraction of people stream and traffic stream on the major avenue. Thus build a silent independent communication space. The ground floor is mainly public space, while 1st to 3rd floor are all guest rooms. Every guest room has a huge terrace and French window. It will put all the excellent scenery of Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain inside the room.

The balcony overhangs outwards, which are overlapped between the layers. It adds a few changes for the facade and even a sense of light weight for the whole architecture. The top floor is the upsurge of the whole architecture. There is a rectangle wading pool facing the Erhai, it is not only like a mirror that reflects the most beautiful convective clouds in Dali, but also like a delicate continuation for sending out the sight to the place far away. The endless pool brings a sense of ceremony, which raises the architectural space to an upsurge. It is also an awe and respect for the natural beautiful scenery. The side facing the Cangshan is a sunlight room with three sides of transparent glass, the altitude difference of two steps raises the space of the sunroom for a little, it endows the posture close to Cangshan.

The furniture are all low benches. If you sit cross-legged, surrounded by the green mountains, you will feel a sense of Zen. The two terraces are the best place to enjoy the scenery, when you look up, you will see the floating clouds, when you look down, you will see the Ancient City and the Erhai Lake. At night, it is quiet nearby, there is only clear soughing of wind in the pines. Light a candle, take a sip of wine, with flash lights shining in the city and village alongside Erhai, as if the architectural space is dispelled in the night. The use of materials in the Pure House also holds the feature of low-key. The main part is coarse bare concrete, in match with wooden grating and wooden frame, the top layer is wood based, more compatible with the nature.

The first layer is surrounded by stone walls and comes out from the slope. Moreover, the overall color is very restrained, without the feeling of abrupt from the landscape. The owners of Pure House Li Jun and He Biao are also the designers of the house. This project has completed their dreams of architects from the age of their student hood. From the site selection, design concept, site supervision, construction guidance, to every stone, every tree, every flower and plant, we can always feel the devotions of the designers to Dali and to life. The emotional design has reached a smooth and moving detail, arousing every guest’s feelings. The interior design has completed by Xie Ke and Zhi Hongxin from Shang Yi Yang Decoration.

They are also good friends of the designers for many years, they have a very high degree of coordination with the same cognitive, tacit and understanding of the project. Most of the interior furniture are selected by the designers from Southeast Asian countries, the texture and color agree with the quality of the architecture itself. The mix-and-match of the furniture with different materials has given every space redefinition. The sunlight is very clean and pure when the weather is fine. Hence the light is a very important element for the space here. Many spaces in the Pure House have the design for light. It uses sunlight inside the room to create extremely attractive shadow variation.

The glass around four sides and skylight on the top floor, as well as the French window facing every guest room, are all the best echo for the sunlight. The furnishing display of interior design has meticulously considered the influence of the shadow. The geometrical relationship of wooden cabinet, terrine and hanging decoration looks good against the shadow, therefore, every detail of the corner can withstand scrutiny. The Pure House Boutique Hotel has around 1500㎡construction area with only 13 guest rooms, coordinating with the open scenery. The whole interior spatial scale is wide and harmonious, which brings the guests comfortable living experience.

Integration of planning, investment, construction and operation results in the controllability and meticulous service and also enhances the living quality. The temperature and humanity brought from the narrative space in the Pure House are the most attractive part, which represents the missed humanity value in the functionalism design, responses to the nature and merges into the nature with a gentle manner, and then dispels the architecture in the environment. In the meanwhile, it also provides the guests with different physical and mental experiences of residing.

Design: Jun Li, Biao He, Xiangdong Xu, Ke Tan / Yueji Architectural Design Office
Interior design: SIGNYAN DESIGN – Ke Xie, Hongxin Zhi
Photography: Arch-Exist, MConcept

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