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Sundon Cabins At The China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition.

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Ecologically Diverse Design: Sundon Cabins

GM Li Xinghua & His Designers Discusses Ingeniuity, Sustainable Building & Practical Thinking At China (Beijing) RV Show

The GM & Design Team Of Sundon Cabins At The China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]

Finding ways to bring modern conveniences to outdoor living is always a balancing act. The increasing importance of sustainable and limited carbon footprint in ecologically sensitive areas is very import. Chinese designers understand this but also in create the best use of space but with inherent openness. Sundon Cabins does this with a combination of ingenuity and practical thinking. MRV: The Buzz Editor In Chief Tim Wassberg sat down with Sundon General Manager Li Xinghua, Creative Design Director Chen Hao and Designer Zhang Hang to discuss perception, growth of the market and returning to nature.

The Buzz: How many different designs are there in terms of the cabin structure?

Chen Hao: So we have two types. One is for DIY. It means on-site, for the customers on the site. So [it is a] special design for them. So for this type, it is set…a built already design. It's already production. We have over 10 types overall.

The Buzz: You build in certain geographic areas. It can be up in the mountains or in the lake. It requires different construction perceptions. Can you talk about using the materials, how you build, all that.

Li Xinghua: It's all computerized. Before we bring all this material to site, we already decide which point [to focus on] and to use. It’s very specific. We use special-- based  machinery so three or four people can put it together in one day.

The Buzz: Now, do a lot of campsites come to you for these or do you do these for individual people?

Zhang Hang : Right now, we only focus on tourism. Camping is just one specific area, but for most of them, we only focus on the tourist side. So it's the luxury, relaxing or holidays.

The Buzz: Can you talk about how the Chinese people enjoy the outdoors, but how they can enjoy the outdoors through something like this where they can have a beautiful view from anywhere?

Li Xinghua: So throughout the years, this camping or this kind of tourism actually has increased because now you know the cities is everywhere, so people will eventually go back to nature.

Front View Of Sundon Cabins. [Courtesy: Sundon Cabins]
A Sundon Cabin On A Hilly Ridge In China. [Courtesy: Sundon Cabins]
The Inside Transquility Of A Sundon Cabin. [Courtesy: Sundon Cabins]

The Buzz: Can you talk about the translucent design?  It's very open. A very open feeling…a very open space.

Chen Hao: It is about an open window. It's faced to the scenery. It is about keeping the structure open to the scenery. It could be more with that because it's a very specific design. So actually, you have these two buildings we are sitting in. For this one, it'd actually be good to look out from the back, while the other structure, the white one, will good from the front. Actually there is a reason for that because…imagine you are on a queue. So if you build a building like this, there is no way for us to see  from the front, right? So that building is actually specifically designed for that. So once you enter the door, you actually can figure out the whole architecture of the views. So we want to bring all the naturality into the room. The room inside—both indoor and outdoor - has a relationship. That’s the reason. And with all our buildings, with the front-- we all use the full height glass. You can see on all our sites, actually, that they very seldom have windows open because we want to have this convergence. When you look outside, you only focus on the scenery sites. That's our focus.

The Buzz: So it lends itself to a specific visual structure with its geometry.

Chen Hao: This room for example is our room. The corridor is very narrow, but it actually points to the green scenery.

The Buzz: How do you see these buildings evolving because the technology will continue to improve yet it still needs to be connected to nature. Where is the balance lie?

Li Xinghua: We actually looked at this a lot of times, in ways of improve our buildings. We actually are very respectful of nature . We don't tie a single tree. We don't even damage the ground. Our buildings -- most of them are actually flat.

The Buzz: No foundation?

Zhang Hang: No foundation. No cutting. We just try to merge our building into the nature. We leave it like that and just make it much more inside the nature. Even as you see, it's a house but we also have water recycle systems. We just match our buildings to the nature and don't damage it all.


Tim Wassberg

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Film/TV Production & Film Criticism, Tim has written for magazines such as Moviemaker, Moving Pictures, Conde Nast Traveler UK and Casino Player. He enjoys traveling and distinct craft beers among other things.

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