Nestled amongst the soaring mountains of Zhaoping county in China’s south, the Huangyao Ancient Town Resort delivers 103 rooms across 27 villas, amid a myriad of dining, exercise and playground facilities. The guest accommodation and services impart a sense of harmony with the surrounding landscape and embody the cultural artefacts that distinguish this historic and culturally-significant region.

The Resort’s namesake town, Huangyao, has thrived for over a thousand years - lending the area a significance further heightened by the dramatic rising peaks and flowing river that have delivered life to the area for a millennia. The Resort developers sought to capture this distinctive visual ambience for visiting guests in the complex’s design.

Group GSA undertook a creative exploration of the local ancient architecture, in combination with the natural elements featured in the surrounding environment and the sculptural forms of the resulting topography. Seeking to establish a relationship to both location and tradition, our design was informed by the curvature of the river meandering through the valley, the topographical lines generated by the landscape, and the brick archways peppered through the village. Our architectural response celebrates these with sweeping arcs and folds, and a textural dialogue with the existing historic architecture.

The resulting built forms blend effortlessly into the undulations of the mountains, imparting a sense of relaxation and primitive wonder to visiting guests. Rooftop lines billow and surge, and the abundant use of timber reverberates with the tree-covered peak that cradles the Resort.



Location: Huangyao Ancient Town Resort, Guilin China
Rooms: 103
Villas: 27
Facilities: Gym and Spa, Children Swimming pool, Adults Swimming Pool, Observatory Tower, Mountain Track, International Restaurant, Chinese Restaurant, Library, Sport Facilities, Children Playground.

Design Lead: Alina Valcarce
Team: Tara Deng, James Wang, Jason Lu

Huangyao Ancient Town Resort by Group GSA in China won the WA Award Cycle 30. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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