ANNSO HILL, located in Heshun Ancient Town of Yunnan, is situated in a narrow alleyway lined with B&Bs and storefronts. The site is composed with two characteristically different lot spaces forming an inverted“L”shape, which begins with a compressed street front zone on a steep slope, and ends on a long serene hillside aligned with beautiful tall trees.

Rather than competing with adjacent shops and facades in elevation, ANNSO HILL chooses as its formal strategy to step back and react directly towards the landscape. Pressed against the hill, the roof shifts and climbs 30 meters upward, while the frontal tiles touch the very ground on the edge of alley. This approach, as a result, provides an open space for the public realm that is extremely rare in Heshun, as visitors and locals are drawn to any and all creative activities or social programs. This tilting geometry also adds a new trajectory of complex relationship that is perpendicular to the linear street, which connects both visually and spatially with the town and the“hidden”hill by a sequence of living conditions. The backdrop of the forest is now visually brought to the fore, and superimposes with the overlapping roofs and walls. A new visual reading of a layered three-dimensional facade is thus constructed.

The entrance way cuts through the roofs, and leads the hotel to an“other”world. It is a play of ambiguity between roofs and walls , facades and grounds , elevations and plans; it becomes a design of an ”architectural field” instead of an“architectural room.” All of the interactive programs and creative activities, such as: café and bar, gallery, DIY, and yoga area; flow against the movements of the transitioning ground. The public space is thus justified by field conditions, and is continuously being re-defined by the series of events.

A flying corridor connects all the guest rooms in the back of the serene and tranquil hill. All rooms are unique in their formal reactions to site specifications and their particularly exclusive axis of view. An architectural operation of 2.5-dimensional spatial strategy is introduced to identify specific visual movements and programmatic performances within each space.  All walls are shifting and being slightly carved-in, in order to create another dimension of spatial reading and also for practical usage. There is an emphasis on the play of light and shadow through manipulating the geometrical relationship between walls and windows. All objects in the hotel-rooms are arranged in the lower horizontal zone, leaving the above space to collect the grand views of the outside.

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ANNSO HILL is a cultural and living space for creation. As such, it expounds a new definition for both the cultural and architectural values of Heshun ancient town.

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