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MAD completes Huangshan Village in China inspired by the topographic lines of a mountainous terrain

China - Nov 24, 2017 - 17:31   9675 views

MAD Architects has built a cluster of residential apartments in China’s Anhui province, is home to one of the country’s most beautiful mountains. The project is composed of a series of undulated floor plates with recessed facades and balconies to mimic the existing topographic lines of the immediate mountainous terrain. 

Image © Shu He 

Named Huangshan Mountain Village, the project is located in Huangshan, near the ancient villages of Hongcun and Xidi. The area is best known for its rich verdant scenery and distinct granite peaks, the beloved landscape has long inspired artists, offering them sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection. Listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site, the humanistic atmosphere and beautiful, tranquil environment has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. 

MAD created a calm, simplistic and minimalist layout for the residential units which was also developed as part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake. The studio provided all the conveniences of modern living, while the design affirms the significance of this culturally important mountain range.

Placing all apartments in deference to the local topography, each of the buildings are diverse in height and appearance, and have been conceived to ensure that the original mountain levels are maintained. 

Organized in a link configuration across the southern slope of Taiping Lake, the dynamic relationship that is created among the ten buildings establishes a new type of village landscape: one where architecture becomes nature, and nature dissolves into architecture.

Desinged as a quiet retreat, each one boasts an expansive balcony whose organic lines respond to the topographic contours of the immediate mountainous terrain. 

"With their shape informed by the tea fields nearby, they appear as if they have been sculpted by wind and water, with no two the same," said MAD. 

"Extending the interior to the exterior, they provide plenty of outdoor space, giving residents the feeling that they are not just observers of the scenery that surrounds them, but actually immersed within it - creating a dialogue with the mountains, lake, and sky," added the firm. 

The architects created pathways that are shaped by the landscape, so they naturally meander through the trees and between the architecture, offering unique access to the treasured site.

"The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague: each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions. It is a bit mysterious, like ancient Shanshui landscape paintings that are never based on realism, but rather, the imagination. This inexplicable feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct," said Ma Yansong, Founder and Principal of MAD.

"This is the basic idea: we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city," added Yansong. 

Instinctively growing out of the mountainous landscape, the serene design sensibility of the village is reflected in its natural setting. It offers a new type of vertical living that while architecturally complimenting the surrounding forest, also enhances the levels of comfort and well-being of its inhabitants, establishing a synergy between humans, nature, and the local culture.

"In its completion, "Huangshan Mountain Village" is a true expression of Ma Yansong’s "Shanshui City" philosophy," said the studio. 

"The intention has not been to create architecture that references forms of nature, such as mountains and water, but instead to establish a space where people can reconnect with nature on a spiritual level - to create architecture that evokes emotion and that embodies humanity’s pursuit for inner fulfilment."

Image © Fernando Guerra 



3D layout in masterplan

Project facts

Project name: Huangshan Mountain Village
Location: Huangshan, China
Date: 2009-2017

Huangshan Taiping Lake Masterplan
Site Area: 1,186,520 sqm
Building Area: 613,200 sqm

Huangshan Mountain Village (Phase One)
Site Area: 189,882 sqm
Building Area: 69,586 sqm

Typology: Residential
Principals in Charge: Ma Yansong, Qun Dang, Yosuke Hayano
Associate in Charge: LIU Huiying
Team: ZHAO Wei, LI Guangchong, WANG Deyuan, Andrea D’Antrassi, FU Xiaoyi, Tiffany Masako Dahlen, XUE Yan, Philippe Brysse, Kayla Lee, Geraldine Lo, Alejandra Obregon, Luke Lu, Jakob Beer, Zeng Lingdong, Achille Tortini, Matthew Rosen, Gustavo Maya, ZHENG Fang, Sarita Tejasmit, Augustus Chan, Jeong-Eun Lee.

Clients: Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited
Grade A Architecture Design Institute: HSarchitects
Interior Design: Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration
Landscape Design: Broadacre Source Landscape
Curtain Wall Design: Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Decoration Engineering Co., Ltd
Lighting Design: Shanghai Mofo Lighting

All images © Laurian Ghinitoiu, unless otherwise stated

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