BAFENG / CCI Retreat | ArchDaily
Photographs: Ying Xia
Manufacturers: åº è abis, å®æ³¢ è®´ æ£®è±
Text description provided by the architects. The unique architectural form of Bafeng Retreat is an attempt to merge architectural elements from Central Asia, vernacular and modern, a tribute to Turpan’s status as a melting pot of cultures, religions and peoples throughout history. The finished project is hidden in the leafy foliage of the Grape Valley, therefore completely integrated into the natural and built environments.
Bafeng Retreat covers a constructed area of ââ1,300 square meters. Depending on site conditions, the retreat is divided into three self-contained architectural units: the cafe along the southwest side of Frog Lane, an L-shaped main retreat building, and a self-contained guesthouse located on the north side. -west of the site. The retreat has three levels, the lowest of which is a semi-basement space located 1.8 meters below ground level. This layout was inspired by the vernacular cave houses originating in the Turpan region. The semi-underground architecture benefits from better thermal insulation and a reduced summer interior temperature, thus reducing energy consumption.
In response to Turpan’s climate, the common space of Bafeng Retreat took an open semi-exterior architectural approach. The open area includes the courtyard, hall and corridors. Although it can be extremely hot during the summer in Turpan, the excellent shade and ventilation of the public space ensure excellent thermal comfort. The hall with a 2.5 storey ceiling adopts a tetrahedral symmetry arch supporting the dome skylight. The shape was inspired by the pendant commonly seen in Byzantine and Islamic architecture. The porous walls under the vaulted structure were made with hollow concrete blocks for decorative and shading purposes, a tribute to the architectural features of the chunche which is unique to the Turpan region.
The inverted dome design of the lobby ceiling lets in natural light and gently illuminates the lobby. The mosaic mural in the lobby was inspired by the running deer motif taken from a well-known piece in the collection of the Turpan Museum, the ‘wooden barrel with running deer motif’ excavated from the tombs of Yanghai near Turpan. This piece from more than two millennia ago showcases the exquisite technique and dynamic style of the unknown craftsman. The extremely dry climate of Turpan has helped to preserve the artwork as a treasured moment in Turpan’s spectacular history and culture. It is now reproduced on the fresco at Bafeng Retreat to echo the built environment. You can walk from the lobby to the courtyard below, another main public common area of ââthe retreat.
The courtyard is connected to the breakfast restaurant, a pleasant outdoor dining area covered with grape trellis and facing a landscaped pond with a white sand bottom. In the center of the landscape, the pond stands a baluster column in the style of southern Xinjiang. With its unique shape and vibrant Uyghur colors, the column provides the visual focal point of the courtyard below. The breakfast restaurant is separated from the courtyard by large sliding glass doors which can be opened and closed depending on the outside temperature.
Located south of the main entrance, HEY CafÃ© can be operated independently. The cafÃ© has comfortable dimensions and simple layout. Its design and decoration are very urban. Outside the windows stands the themed fresco “The Monkey King Meditating in the Mountains” by artist Lu Yi. Another interesting experience that Bafeng Retreat can offer our guests is to sip the best coffee in Turpan under the watchful eye of the King of the Monkeys on top of the Blazing Mountains.
Speaking of experience, we have to talk about the guest rooms which are the main retreat experience. Bafeng Retreat includes nineteen rooms of different character. The interiors of the rooms are extensions of the modern, simple fusion style that characterizes the architectural design of the retreat. The highly stylized concrete hollow brick element has also been introduced in the interior design. The rooms are dotted with local crafts, rugs and Uyghur musical instruments. Within the sober setting of the rooms, Bafeng Retreat has selected the highest quality sanitary ware, linens, mattresses and furniture to satisfy the connoisseurs among our potential customers. All bedrooms are fitted with sliding doors or a patio so that guests can interact closely with the outdoor spaces. Meanwhile, they all have blinds to block out the scorching sun that is characteristic of Turpan summers.
The back entrance to Bafeng Retreat was once a passageway for hotel employees and delivery of supplies. However, the presence of a small common space, flower beds and benches naturally made it a community meeting point. In the morning, students from local schools read. In the evening Uyghur grandfathers would sit here and play chess. Guests of Bafeng Retreat can strike up a conversation with them from the patio. It also provides our clients with unique opportunities to experience Uyghur communities more intensely.