Chinese firm MAD has today unveiled plans for a village of towering apartment blocks beside the Huangshan Mountains in eastern China (+ slideshow).
Inspired by the topographical layers of the landscape, the buildings will have organically shaped floor plates and will emerge from amongst the treetops on a site beside the Taiping Lake.
MAD hopes that the new community will give many Chinese residents access to the impressive landscape that has inspired painters for many years.
"We hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment," said MAD founder Ma Yansong. "In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city."
The architect also explained how the poetry of the place inspired the design. "The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague. Each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions. A bit mysterious, like ancient landscape paintings, never based on realism but rather, the imagination. This vague feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct," he said.
Set to complete in 2014 , the community will accommodate 700 apartments, as well as a hotel and other community facilities.
Today we also reported that Chinese architects Neri&Hu think architects in China have lost their way, while last month Aric Chen, the creative director of Beijing Design Week, told Dezeen that China needs to "slow down".
Here's some more information from MAD:
MAD unveils Huangshan Mountain Village
MAD Architects today unveiled plans for a high-density village near the Huangshan Mountains (Yellow Mountain) in Anhui Province, central China. The low-rise residences echo the contours of the surrounding topography and offer unequalled access to one of China’s most famous landscapes.
Modern people live in a competitive society with firm belief in efficiency; hence they find it difficult to understand why characters portrayed in Chinese paintings would brave torturous mountain paths to reach the top simply to enjoy a tea in a pavilion.
Located near Huangshan Mountains, the site of verdant scenery and limestone cliffs have long inspired artists and offered sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection. Yet, as an increasingly popular tourist destination – further exposed by its UNESCO Heritage status – it risks to compromise this iconic landscape.
MAD’s design affirms the inherent significance of this landscape. Composed in deference to the local topography, the village provides housing, a hotel and communal amenities organized in a linked configuration across the southern slope of Taiping Lake. As its form evokes the geology of the region, the village blurs the boundaries between the geometries of architecture and nature.
For residents, the apartments will be a quiet retreat - an immersive, natural space. All apartments have spacious balconies which overlook the lake. Communal amenities and walking paths encourage residents to wander among the buildings. Each floor of each building is unique and accessed from shared social spaces, creating a seamless balance between private and public spaces. The same serene design sensibility of natural environment extends to the interior of the apartments. The use of local materials and the incorporation of plants and greenery enhance levels of comfort and well-being while simultaneously setting up a closer connection with local culture.
The village will have seven hundred apartments and is scheduled to be completed by 2014.