SHANGHAI, CHINA—An act of salvation has taken place in China. Historic trees and traditional Chinese constructions were in jeopardy of being erased before Chinese businessman Ma Dadong decided to uproot both the trees and buildings and move them to just outside the prominent city of Shanghai. Dadong has managed to preserve nearly 80 percent of 10,000 trees that were in danger of being felled to make way for a new reservoir, along with 50 Ming and Qing dynasty houses spread over 30 ancient villages 800km from Shanghai. He has spent over 10 years on this amazing conservation project, and now the salvaged pieces of history will be reimagined to form a new, exclusive resort, the AmanYangyun.
A team of experts was employed to carefully uproot the trees and dismantle the homes and buildings, many of which were embodiments of not only traditional Chinese ways of life, but also contained indigenous crafts and detailing, many of which have not been seen for centuries. In the process of taking down and moving these ancient constructions, forgotten building techniques were uncovered, turning the project into almost an act of archaeology.
Now in their new home, these remnants of time and history will gain a new lease of life. Russian developer Vladislav Doronin plans to incorporate the elements into his new resort of the Aman brand.
AmanYangyun will be Aman’s fourth resort in China. Located just outside downtown Shanghai, this resort, whose name means “nourishing cloud”, will provide an antidote to the chaos of the city. Billed as an “introspective retreat”, the rescued houses will be converted into 26 luxury villas and 24 one-bedroom suites. Minimalist interiors will provide lightness and clarity to the guests’ stay, with natural materials echoing the surroundings outside. AmanYangyun is due to open in fall 2018.