Locanda Orchid, originally known as Banshancuo Mansion (14 Gongping Road, Gulangyu) was built at the beginning of the last century by a family of returned overseas Chinese as their residence. Noted in Gulangyu for its spacious courtyard, semicircular steps, exact north-south location, and above all, its western architectural style, it has been designated by the Xiamen municipal government as a building of historic interests.
In 1949, Mr. Zhou, owner of the mansion, moved overseas together with his family and the mansion was taken over for use by the government. Four decades later, it was given back to the descendents of the Zhou’s as a result of implementation of policies towards private houses owned by overseas Chinese. In June 2011, Mr. Hong Sheng, a descendent of the Zhou’s residing in Taiwan sold the mansion to Mr. Chen, a practicing doctor in Beijing.
Though a hundred years are not long enough to change nature, they are enough to change a human structure. As a result of ravages of time, the old mansion though standing structurally sound has shown signs of decay in its exteriors. A reconstruction decision was made to restore its original looks, to consolidate its old masonry-timber structure with reinforced concrete and to equip it with modern facilities. The concept was accepted and appreciated by both Xiamen and Gulangyu authorities. It was tremendously hard work, lasting ten months and involving carrying as many as 300 tons of building materials by human shouldering, pulling cart and woody boat and turning it into a completely reinforced concrete structure. The mansion, with its original granite foundation, is supported by 25 strong columns and buttressed by walls of 96-brick/m2 with all its ring beams, arches and floors completed by integral concreting. With its spacious hall and strong columns, the mansion looks solid, grand and magnificent.
Nowadays the mansion, having integrated the main and the auxiliary buildings and complemented by a penthouse and a terrace, takes up a total floor space of 500m2. In the auxiliary building, there is a half-hexagon sunshine-catching hall added and the a new spiral staircase has replaced the old external straight ladder, generating good ventilation and natural lighting effects. The luxury penthouse suite is connected with the roof terrace where guests of the hostel can enjoy the sight Jimu Hill with exuberant trees and plants in the south and view of seashore patted by sea waves in the north. Comfortable and magnificent mansion, quiet and leisurely neighborhood, green hill and blue sea within the reach, Isn’t it your dream land！