The planning process began with a grid that was laid over the site and incorporated the existing buildings. The plan was to create traditional Chinese, single-storey courtyard houses with the exception of a two-storey courtyard house accommodating the library and guest rooms. Partly open and partly closed, greenish-grey and uneven brickwork encompasses all areas, including the four gardens.
The precise floor plan generates a network of brick walls and paths that delimit the series of striking inner courtyards. The architects deliberately played with perspectives, openings and vistas. Again and again, views into the individual patios of the reception, restaurant and guest rooms emerge through apertures in the brick walls. Long, geometric expanses of brick corridor inside the building contrast with the idyllic courtyards and blur the boundaries between inside and outside.
Away from the enclosure, the site includes a further four-room pavilion on the lake shore and an old warehouse at the northern end that houses a theatre, exhibition spaces and another restaurant.