Blossom Hill — Hangzhou, China
With its historic pagodas and peaceful Shangri-la, West Lake, in China’s Hangzhou, has always been the city’s main draw. Lately, though, the Xixi Wetland area has attracted development: first the National Wetland Museum by Beijing-based Studio Pei-Zhu and now the Blossom Hill resort. Marcelo Joulia of international practice Naço, designed the collection of low-slung villas with extraordinary compassion for the region’s lush landscape. He coupled bamboo and antique brick with local woods and contemporary concrete to create an air of serene simplicity. To the rooms, each facing the misty marshes, he brought long, lean furnishings, cavernous tubs and soft lighting. Equally peaceful is the pool, obscured by reeds, and the sunken library, surrounded by louvered bamboo shutters.