Current residential designs in many Chinese cities are dominated by low-risk formulated plans and generic marketing strategies. This sales-dependent development has left few possibilities for architects to explore further creativity in design and experimentation. This hillside apartment, on the other hand, has its main goal on renting rather than sales, focusing on service apartments and a garden-themed hotel. Therefore the concept in designing and planning is able to depart from the stereotypical categories, seeking a more poetic and dynamic way of residential design.
The project returns to fundamental ideas in Chinese living as expressed by the saying “hills outside hills, and gardens inside gardens,” an idea referring to a continuous and occasionally repeating rhythm of space and form found in many traditional villages and mountainous landscapes. The relationship between nature and buildings is blurred in an attempt to create a new generation of urban living.
Located on the foot of the “south mountain”, the site is terraced and sloped. The buildings gently grow out from the landscape, taking on the angular characteristic of the geography while offering ponds and courtyards to the residents. Views from the units extend to several smaller courtyards where bamboo, pine, and plum blossom can be found. In the center of the site, a modest walkway forms a link over the water, bridging the interconnected gardens.