One of the biggest questions was: What will happen here?
Will an ancient landscape appear like a mirage? Will old memories be brought back and curated like in a museum? Who will come? What will people see? What do we want them to see?
Strange but familiar
We want to bring back beautiful feelings of the old times, but we do not want to make a museum. That would require too much effort for us, for the owner and for visitors.
This place – Sapa farmstay is for young people who want to have a good time. They will enjoy the place, will have fun in their own care-free way. .
But we still want them to understand some values. True values of ancient O Quy Ho. Values from mother nature of O Quy Ho. They will see ponds, spring, rocks, trees, plants. They will taste again wild fruits, and pick wild flowers – nearly the same way their parents did when they were kids here….That feeling of a new strange place but very familiar is exactly what we are going to create.
Question: How to evoke this feeling of familiar strangeness?
Answer: Local materials assembled in a peculiar way.
Fortunately even some local materials and plants have become rather strange because they are less and less noticed by young people.
Dry stone building and wood carpenting are familiar practices of the region. Now we are using these ancient knowledge with the help from local people to set up a new landscape for Sapa farmstay.
The largest portion of the work is not the construction but the vegetation part. However for this we have a great helper: Mother nature.
Spring is the theme for the Highlands – The first section of the project.
Dedicated to reception and team activities, this zone hosts all events and festivals. A large game area at the centre where games and parties are held is surrounded by a vast flower carpet and random stone walls. These flower carpet provides promenades that connect the public area with more private areas located on the edge of the zone: The Nest, Diamond Huts, Campfire Ring, The Unreal Rock. Local trees such as peaches, plums and Kaki fruits will strengthen spring spririt of this area.
Summer is the theme for the Flower Land – second section of the project.
This section is a naturally very steep ramp. We carve multiple small steps to create flat horizontal surfaces at different levels. Each step will contain a type of flower in a way that the land is covered year round with a colorful carpet. Cherry blossom trees are planted at a higher level to signal the arrival of summer in early April. Water for irrigation comes from an upper pond and stored in small water reservoirs. Irrigation is arranged via a semi-automatic system.
Autumn is the theme for the Pond.
Like a secret pond hidden in the mountain, this pond has crystal clear running water. Its existence is to evoke a calm and soothing atmosphere. A bridge made from scattering rocks runs across the pond to connect the Highland with the Land of Fog. But in the middle of the bridge, the stones step down gradually lower than the water so people seem to walk on water. Some types of fish such as Sapa trouts or carpes could be watched and fed from here. Not only would the pond provide the most stunning picture spots, it could also be a rest stop before visitors enter the land of fog.
Winter is the theme for the Land Of Fog.
The last section of the land, the most mysterious and strange land featured with familiar objects. A promenade paved with flag- stones wandering through many stone moon gates. Each opens into a new landscape. This land is exclusively reserved to a plant: Ferns. The promenade intersects the stream at many points, each time at a moon gate equiped with mist blowing sprinkler. Staying in Stone huts among large ferns along the stream would be an unforgetable experience. The whole land will be flooded with thick low fog. Some water wheels and water pounders would give to this quiet land a fairy look.