Yarlung Tsangpo River Hostel, Tibet 西藏雅鲁藏布江旅社
10 December 2015

The hostel is situated along the slope of the Yarlung Tsangpo River near Pai Town, the small locality that marks the entrance to the Grand Canyon. The site is facing the river to the north, the 7,782 m-high peak of Namcha Barwa to the east, the 7,294 m Gyala Peri Peak to the northeast, and Mount Duoxiongla to the south. To design a hostel with one hundred rooms in such an environment posed a great challenge for the architects. Inspired by the “steps” strategy often seen in local villages when built on slopes, they decided to design a series of stepped, single-storey, linear buildings, each with unimpeded views of the river and mountains to the north and east. On four steps, each set back and grouped in a cresent-shaped form, the building is integrated like a horizontal cut in the foot of the mountain. With roofs covered by earth, shrubs and rocks, the building gently embeds itself into the sloped landscape. Viewed from a distance, the hostel disappears like a few thin leaves floating along the river.

Location: Pai Town, Tibet
Site Area: 18000 sqm
Building Area: 7380 sqm
Client: Tibet Tourism Holdings
Architect: ZAO/standardarchitecture
Project Architect: Zhang Ke, Zhang Hong, Sun Wei
Design Team: Zhang Ke, Hou Zhenghua, Zhang Hong, Sun Wei, Guido Tesio, Chen Ling, Yang Fan, Shi Qianlan
LDI: Jizhun Fangzhong Architectural Design & Research Institute + Tibet Youdao Architectural Design Institute
Design: 2009-2012
Completion: 2013
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