The Brick Wall | Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat

The Brick Wall | Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat

Situated in close proximity to Yangzhou’s scenic Slender West Lake, the site given to Neri&Hu to design a 20-room boutique hotel was a challenging one, dotted with small lakes and a handful of existing structures. The design brief called for the adaptive reuse of several of the old buildings by giving them new functions, while adding new buildings to accommodate the hotel’s capacity needs.

Neri&Hu’s strategy to unify these scattered elements was to overlay a grid of walls and paths onto the site to tie the entire project together, resulting in multiple courtyard enclosures. The inspiration for the design actually originates with the courtyard house typology of vernacular Chinese architecture. As with the traditional courtyard, the courtyard here gives hierarchy to the spaces, frames views of the sky and earth, encapsulates landscape into architecture, and creates an overlap between interior and exterior.

Constructed entirely from reclaimed grey brick, the gridded walls’ narrow interior passageway forces a long perspective, while light plays off the various brick patterns, enticing guests to venture ever deeper into the project. Within the walls, several of the courtyards are occupied by guest rooms and other shared amenities such as the reception, library, and restaurant.

Many of the building roof lines are confined within the height of the walls surrounding them, so that they are not visible from afar. Hotel guests traverse the site using the walled pathways to discover their rooms. Once within, there is a clear separation between the building and the walls, a layering of privacy and a sliver of landscape for guests to enjoy. Other courtyards are unoccupied, pockets of lush garden to offer relief from the sense of enclosure.

Journeying along the walls, guests can also ascend through openings above to gain privileged vantage points that look out across the gridded landscape and beyond to the surrounding lakes. Here three additional buildings take their place in the panorama; the rising second floor of the largest courtyard building, a lakeside pavilion of four guestrooms, and a multifunction building at the furthest reaches of the site.

Renovating the existing derelict warehouse building, with a partial new concrete addition, this multifunction building houses a restaurant, a theatre and an exhibition space. With this project, Neri&Hu’s ambition lies in utilizing a strong landscape element—the wall and courtyard—to unify a complex site and program, while the rustic materiality and layered spaces seek to redefine tradition with a modern architectural language.

Gross Area
4,200 m²


Completion Date
October 2017

1 Baocheng Road, Hanjiang District, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China

The Brick Award 2022, Wienerberger, Vienna, AustriaTsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Building Outside the Box, Winner
Golden Trezzini Awards 2021, by Zolotoy Trezzini Ltd., RussiaTsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Best Project of Public Building of Facility, nominee
Blueprint Design Awards 2020, BLUEPRINT Magazine, UKTsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, The Best Building Re-use Project, Shortlisted
Wallpaper Design Awards 2020, Wallpaper* Magazine, United KingdomThe Brick Wall -- Tsingpu Ynagzhou Retreat, Best Renovated Hotel
AHEAD Awards 2019, by Sleeper Magazine, UKThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, The New Concept of the year
FRAME Awards 2019, by Frame Magazine, Amsterdam, NetherlandsThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Spatial Awards, Hotel of the Year
2019 Building with Nature Architecture China AwardThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Jury Special Award,Nominee
Wallpaper Design Awards 2020, Wallpaper* Magazine, London, UKThe Brick Wall - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Best renovated hotel, Shortlisted
AZ Awards 2018, by AZURE Magazine, Canada The Walled – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Architecture, Finalist
Prix Versailles World Architecture Award 2018, by UNESCO in ParisThe Walled – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Architecture, Finalist, Special Prize in Hotel Exterior Category of Central Asia and the Northeast
Surface Travel Awards, by SURFACE Magazine, New York, USThe Walled – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Architecture, Finalist, Small Hotel Internation category, Finalist
The Plan Award 2018, THE PLAN Magazine, ItalyThe Walled – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Architecture, Finalist, winner of Completed - Hospitality Category and The 2018 Overall winner
Blueprint Award 2018, by Blueprint Magazine, the UKThe Walled – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Winner of Completed - Best Public-Use Project – Privately Funded
Architizer A+ Awards 2018, Architizer WebsiteTsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Hotel Category, Finalist
A&D Trophy Awards 2018, by Perspective Limited, Hong Kong, ChinaThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Professional Architecture - Hotel & Resorts, Best Of The Best
Best of Year Awards 2018, by Interior Design Magazine, New York, USAThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Winner in Green Category
Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards 2018, by Hong Kong Interior Design Association, Hong Kong, ChinaThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Hotel Space Category, Gold
WAN Awards 2018, by World Architecture, UKThe Walled - Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Commercial Sector, Regional Winner: Asia
World Architecture Festival 2018, Amsterdam, NetherlandsTsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Culture - Completed Buildings Category, Highly Commended