Location: Yanshan Road, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
Project Designers, Design Director: Meng Yan, Zhu Jialin
Architecture Design: Zheng Ying, Huang Zhiyi, Yao Xiaowei, Zuo Lei, Liu Xiaoqiang, Yie Peijun, Li Da, Shen Yandan, Ji Yuyu, Zhang Zhen, Liu Liu, Liu Zirong, Xia Miao, Yuan Yi, Guo Donghai
Landscape Design: Xing Guo, Wei Zhijiao, Ding Yu, Cedric Yu, Li Jing, Huang Yihong, Liao Zhixiong
Client: China Merchants Real Estate Co. Ltd.
Site Area: 13,198 sqm
Floor Area: 21,540 sqm
Photographs: Wu Qiwei
Contemporary housing design in China usually follows a preoccupied real estate formula to limit risk in the market. As a result, it is hard to find opportunities and space for architects to develop new housing typologies in such market-oriented reality.
Located on a hillside at Shekou district in Shenzhen, the total area of the project site is roughly 13,200 square meters, with 25,100 square meters of built area for residential apartments and hotel rooms. The intention of this project is to question the conventional real estate developments in China, for which only design is only about how to economize the project instead of in-depth architectural design of spatial quality.
Contrasting to that, the key concept of this project focuses on how to contextualize architecture with the existing geographical condition and to recall the experience of traditional Chinese gardens in the making of modern living space, thus to reinterpret the everyday life experience and spatial organization from traditional China. As a result, the Maillen Hotel & Apartment becomes an special living environment for both short and long term tenants. The proposal offers an alternative to the typical models of housing development. In addition, it allows sufficient profits and increases local job opportunities.
The project remembers some fundamental philosophical ideas of landscape by emphasizing the experience of ‘hills outside hills, and gardens inside gardens.’ Chinese traditional philosophy usually imagines the idealism between man and nature by using the metaphorical and dialectic relationship of hill/water and garden/trees. With these concepts in mind, designers would like to create a novel life style, which integrates traditional dwelling and landscape theory and contemporary lifestyle. The internal spatial organization is well designed: a linear and continuous experience is engendered when one is walking inside the complex following the pathways. The emphasis of the idea of time is an attempt to mimic the rhythm of the spatial experience of traditional villages and landscapes in China.
Located on the foot of the hill, called ‘Nan Shan’, the site is a terraced and sloped one. The building complex gently grows from the landscape in rectangular geometry, to respond to the geography. Ponds and courtyards are offered to the residents to recall the experience of the nature in the manmade. Views from the units extend to smaller courtyards, where bamboo, pine, and plum blossom can be found. In the center of the complex, a modest walkway forms floating on the water, bridging the interconnected gardens.