Hezhitang Hot Spring / A-ASTERISK


Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae
  • Architects: A-ASTERISK
  • Location: Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang, China
  • Lead Architect: Nakamura Nobuhiro
  • Design Team: Nakamura Nobuhiro, Yi Qin, Shigeno Yuji, Jie Lai, Wenping Wang, Zengcai He
  • Site Area: 169140 sqm
  • Height: 17.035 m
  • Area: 11357.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: HIROMATSU Misae
  • Construction Drawing: Changzheng Dong, Yuting Chang, Shaohua Zhang, Ping Lin, Youfen Jiao, Huijie Wang
  • Interior Design: Nakamura Nobuhiro, Yi Qin, Shigeno Yuji, Jie Lai, Wenping Wang, Zengcai He / KANEMITSU HIROSHI DESIGN OFFICE(KANEMITSU Hiroshi) / SEA BASS(SUZUKI Chiho)
  • Landscape Design: Nakamura Nobuhiro, Yi Qin, Shigeno Yuji, Jie Lai, Wenping Wang, Zengcai He uji design(MAEDA Yutaka)
  • Signage Design: uji design(MAEDA Yutaka)
  • Lighting Design: Bonbori lighting architect and associates(KAKUDATE Masahide, NOZAWA Jun’ichiro)
  • Client: Mingdao group

Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Text description provided by the architects. We have designed hot spring facility with an accommodation complex called Hezhitang (meaning “crane hot spring”. Qiqihaer’s crane is famous in China) in Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang province, China. The project is close to Russian border near the great wetland called Zhalong where may tourists come to see migrated white cranes. The facility can accommodate 850 people at once and 2,000 visitors per day. Our main design considerations are as following.


Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Exterior. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Feeling of Security
The project is located in the severe environment in a snowfield stretched as far as the eye could see. Often the temperature here drops minus 40 degree Celsius.  It is not a convenient metropolitan city, nor in topography of hills and valleys. Visitors are fascinated with the extraordinary nature in the beginning of travel, but the unusual scenery can make them feel desolate. We wanted to design the building to embrace visitors with feeling of security and relaxation. The powerful straighten volume of façade in black shows the presence in the white field to warmly welcome visitors.


1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Unity with the Wetland
In order to create a sense of unity to the Zhalong wetland, we have created horizontal tube shape as main spaces with the windows facing to the outside. After the long travel, the visitors arrive to this facility under diffusions of consciousness because of infinity view of horizon. We are showing the scenery of wetland through the tube architecture instead of showing it off directly so that it provides human-scale impression and sense of harmony to the visitors.


1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Visitor Experience
This hot spring bath facility is for people to enjoy unexpected experience far away from ordinal life. We wanted to give visitors surprises and delighted feelings as a journey in the building. In order to create the journey, we have emphasized differences of design elements. A sense of horizontal line connected to the wetland and black material at entrance hall provides excitement while visitors are checking-in. Then intentionally lowered ceiling at corridor makes visitors to calm. Then finally visitors are surrounded with hot spring bath with a strong sense of connection to the enormous wetland. We believe our architecture provides a sequence of unusual experience.


1F Bath Spot. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Bath Spot. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

Efficient Management
Since the facility is built in inconvenient location, it is difficult to find sufficient number of staff. In order to minimise necessity of manpower, efficient circulation plan was carefully considered. There are three pillars of management: total management, cleaning/concierge and F&B. Typically these types of management requires individual entries, however we have made them located at backyard on North East corner so that they can be well connected and easy for cars to access. Also linen supply, which is one of the most complicated tasks for public bath operation, can be easily accessed from both men’s and women’s changing rooms.


3F Reception. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

3F Reception. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

We truly hope that our design and architecture is honoured in the city and forever loved among people visit there.


1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

1F Open Air. Image © HIROMATSU Misae

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