In many countries, new buildings even in remote beauty spots are never far away from urban civilisation. Lucky the country, then, which has enough virgin territory to be able to make big and not wholly obtrusive architectural statements without spoiling a place completely. The Lake of Taiping at the foot of eastern China’s Huangshan Mountains is the location for just such an intervention.
The plan is to put up 700 apartments, a hotel and communal amenities on the mountainside. Huangshan Mountain Village is the creation of Chinese practice MAD, and it's certainly taken the area’s topology into account.
Its scheme comprises a handful of softly contoured apartment towers dotted along the water’s edge. The contours are a reference to the lay of the land, and also give each dwelling a decent terrace. Talking of terraces, the design borrows something from vineyard terracing two, which adds to its suitability for the location.
MAD’s architects are keen to make the area’s natural beauty sing, which fits well with the Chinese tradition of being in harmony with the great outdoors: “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’ is due to be ready for its first occupants by 2014.