The Tsingpu Tulou Retreat is set in the UNESCO-listed area of Fujian Province in south-eastern China and comprises five classical tulou structures—centuries-old earthen buildings unique to this mountainous area of the country. Incredibly, three of these buildings were constructed during the latter part of the Qing dynasty. Architect Hua Li, of TAO (Trace Architecture Office), emphasizes the essential meaning of place by presenting an exterior that seems untouched by time, retaining ancient rammed-earth and wooden-architecture style, as well as featuring artistic decorations from the region.
The structure’s interiors have been opened up to create engaging, luxuriously decorated spaces that belie the historic façades, while columns and beams from ancient neighboring structures were incorporated into the renovation. The property’s thin roofs enable the structures to naturally frame the surrounding scenery.
Within the buildings, the principle elements of green slate, warm wood, and Chinese fir unite, while columns and beams from ancient neighboring structures were incorporated into the renovation, highlighting traditional craftsmanship. The in-room furniture by FNJI incorporates this tradition into a new design language that supports daily life of contemporary China. Warm wood and the crisp lines of contemporary furnishings augment a color pallet defined by Chinese fir, rammed soil, grass marl, and plain cement. Furniture indigenous to the region highlights traditional craftsmanship, while also creating a new and contemporary design language.
The public areas of the 22-room, two-suite Tsingpu Tulou Retreat present welcoming open spaces that connect an interior courtyard in each of the tulou buildings, including a restaurant showcasing Hakka food, exhibition halls, handicraft workshops, a cooking studio, a yoga studio, and a children’s playground.
Guest immerse in customs with on-property citrus tea-making and Zhangzhou porcelain pottery, as well as exploring the surrounding hills in search of harvesting the local delicacy of fresh bamboo shoots. Tours of Taxia village with a feng shui master explore the ancient ideaology which the town was built upon, and ventures into the UNESCO Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster of circular structures reveal it’s storied history and practical use by residents today.