Seaweed Bay Health Resort/



Project Details



Rongcheng City, Weihai City, Shandong Province / China


Hospitality Resort

Year (Design/Construction):

- / 2020

Area (Net/Gross):

- / -
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The project only demolished 5 courtyards of poor quality, while maintaining and renovating 21 of the original 26 courtyards.
  • The roofs are covered with locally sourced seagrass, a handcrafted traditional process from the Jiaodong region.
  • The walls of the new buildings are made from locally sourced stone.
  • The existing trees were preserved and adapted as an important component of the new design.

Project description as provided by the architects.

Fanjia Village is located in the Shidao Management Area of Weihai City, Shandong Province, of which the beautiful scenery of Shidao Bay Inner Lake is to the east. It is a typical northern ranks courtyard-style village. In recent years, Shidao has been guided by the policy of “one hundred miles of coastline, one scenic chain”. The “most beautiful fishing village” folklore display area, “ten miles of ancient township” cultural tourism combination area, “mountain residence sea rhyme” style experience area, “quality agriculture “Leisure and sightseeing area” four sections can be created, which can be dedicated to open a whole area of beautiful countryside tourism demonstration belt through the four beautiful countryside characteristic sections.

With the construction of the overall scenic area and infrastructure along the coastline, the traditional village has been gradually demolished and the fabric around Fanjia Village has been gradually destroyed, and as of May 2020, it has largely disappeared, replaced by ranks and columns of boarded-up residential buildings and villa areas. The houses within Fanjia Village have also been left vacant, some of them decaying and awaiting new functions.

Retaining nostalgia and allowing historical memories to coexist with modern life is the starting point of this design of Seaweed Bay Health Resort. On the other hand, the existing house layout system is a functional, barracks-style layout, and the site lacks recognition, land conservation and the hierarchy of the courtyard space. How to adapt the space to meet the operational functions of Seaweed Bay Health Resort while preserving the village fabric, courtyard space and the pattern of the original village houses; at the same time, preserving and extending the openness of the public space and the continuity of the overall space while protecting the privacy of the hotel, is a major challenge for this design.

The ancient dwellings of the sea grass houses are the most representative traditional dwellings in the Jiaodong region, and are the result of long-term environmental and climatic influences. In the coastal area, it was rainy and humid in summer and snowy and cold in winter, so the main consideration for the dwellings was to keep warm in winter and protect them from rain and sun in summer.

The overall construction strategy of Seaweed Bay Health Resort returns to the essence of construction, focusing on the logical relationship between the building process and the finished form. The old house with its sea grass roof is restored to reflect the regional character; the new building with its flat roof highlights the purely masonry volume character. The old and new buildings are fused together through the same building materials and similar proportional relationships.

The seagrass used for construction of is wild algae such as large-leaved seaweed that grows in shallow seas of 5-10 metres. It is very pliable and, due to its high content of brine and gum, is resistant to insects, mould and burning. “A seagrass house requires more than 70 processes, all of which are handcrafted.” Local masters familiar with the craft are brought in to guide the construction of the seagrass house, which follows five steps: preparation, making the eaves, thatching the slope, sealing the roof, sprinkling water and levelling the ground, reflecting the regional characteristics in their original form. 

The walls of the preserved buildings maintain the original appearance of the buildings, either in the form of brick walls at the top and stone walls at the bottom, or complete stone walls from top to bottom. The newer parts of the building have additional stone masonry walls in order to maintain the integrity of the courtyard. The landscape elements are partially made of rusted steel plates and dark grey stainless steel panels to set off the handmade feel with an industrial feel. The stone walls are made from locally produced stone island red and are available in two types, flat seam and messy seam. In terms of construction, they follow some traditional local construction techniques, which are in the hands of local masters, and can only be built by one person for about one to two square feet a day, while messy seam walls are two to three square feet. This is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, but it is a way of passing on traditional building techniques and a localised concept of village construction. 

Clay plaster is used on both the old and new building walls, designed with a 2:1 ratio of white ash to rammed earth and using a special process technology to restore the architectural texture of the old mud walls, creating a unique lustre and cultural quality, with the same materials making the old and new buildings closely integrated. 

The design team surveyed all 26 of the current courtyards at the beginning of the design, identifying five of them of poor quality for demolition. The courtyards were combined, demolished and expanded to change the way the original units were put together and to better suit the needs of modern accommodation. The original building of 26 rooms was consolidated into 19 after the design was completed. The roofs of the remaining 19 courtyards after the transformation were all continued as seagrass house roofs, forming a complete seagrass house village.

The demolished open spaces form public courtyards, named Watering Courtyard, Tea Courtyard, Playing Garden, Swimming Pool, Health Garden and Field Garden. The three main roads and six courtyards form a network with easy access. 

Set up public buildings and supporting facilities around the public courtyard and other open spaces, such as a book bar, restaurant, cloth room, public toilets and tea room, to improve the hotel’s functions. 

A variety of trees exist within the site, which are part of the residential character of the village and carry public memory, as well as being an important component of the site space, and are preserved in the design to form a unique landscape in conjunction with the courtyard in which they are located and to increase the differentiation between the courtyards. 

The site has an overall height difference of 1.7m in the north-south direction. The design does not want to reflect engineering practices such as retaining walls, but strives to absorb the height difference by means of architectural elements. The difference in height between the courtyard and the street is resolved by means of a gentle slope, which is combined with the difference in height to deal with the drainage of the site; the difference in height between the courtyard and the street is resolved by means of a step in front of the gate and a landscaping sketch, forming a proximity scale, enriching the street space while increasing the difference in the courtyard experience. 

Project Name: Protection and Regeneration of Seaweed House Village-Reconstruction Design of Seaweed Bay Health Resort 

Project Type: Architecture/Interior/Landscape

Project Site: Rongcheng City, Weihai City, Shandong Province

Designed by: Greyspace Architects

Principals: Moyan Liu, Peng Su

Chief Designer: Anqi Ju

Design Team: Shijiao Ying, Kai Zhang, Wenqi Wu, Yongsheng Gao 

Client: Rongcheng Jingda Health and Wellness Co., Ltd.

Status: Built

Design Period: June 2018 – March 2019

Construction Period: March 2019 – August 2020

Site Area: 5545.63 m2

Floor Area:1786.93 m2

Structure and Electromechanics: Shanghai Wusan Architectural Design Co., Ltd.

Construction: Rongcheng Anrun Construction Co., Ltd.

Materials: Peninsula Red stone, Steel plate, Rust steel plate, Ecological mud, Seaweed

Photography:Hao Chen


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