East Meets West
Client: Tianheng Real Estate, Dongguan City, Guangdong, China
Yingtan (population one-million) is a prefecture-level city in the east of China's Jiangxi province where it administers 11 other towns. Close to the bordering southeastern coastal provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong and their vital delta river trade and transport systems, Yingtan has been a strategically important city for centuries and, in modern times, a major rail hub. But it is probably better known domestically, and with international travellers, as the gateway to the resort area of Longhusan and, specifically, Mt Longhu - birthplace of China’s only native religion, Taoism, around 600 BC. The area has great symbolic value for Taoists. Its odd-shaped mountains, cave systems and villages are punctuated by ancient temples and historic sites, including the hanging burial grounds of the Guyue people who placed their dead in coffins suspended from the cliff faces. Longhusan is a natural tourist and holiday destination. Aside from its dramatic landforms and cultural history, its temperate climate provides for four distinct picture-postcard seasons; its appeal is sustained all year round.
Tectvs designed a series of villas in varying configurations and orientation - but all driven by the same intent - to create a fusion of Chinese and Western forms and spatial treatments appropriate to the location
Yingtan government and commercial interests are working to develope Longhuhan as a premier holiday destination for China’s burgeoning middle-class. Across from Mt Longhu - literally Dragon Tiger Mountain in Pinyin Mandarin - a site is being prepared for a new 25-storey five-star hotel and exclusive holiday villas, and a new ‘market town’ to house 7000 families. Tectvs is designing the luxury villas which will have views across a man-made lake to the hotel and beyond to the enveloping natural geography.
A focus on traditional Chinese respect and appreciation for contemplative and transitory spaces and their arrangement
The Longushan region has been designated a national forest park and a national geological park, with a natural and cultural heritage of global significance. The key design reference points for Tectvs were obvious: the forms and vegetation of the surrounds, the seasons, the light, the cultural and historic context. The approach was to create a permeable design solution that allowed these defining influences to penetrate the structures and engage with the occupants. Outside would be inside, excluded only for reasons of climatic protection and comfort, and building performance and privacy. Tectvs designed a series of villas in varying configurations and orientation but all driven by the same intent - to create a fusion of Chinese and western forms and spatial treatments appropriate to the location, much in the way the traditional pavilion style of Bali has been re-interpreted successfully in the island’s more exclusive residential enclaves. Tectvs focused on traditional Chinese respect and appreciation for contemplative and transitory spaces and their arrangement. It incorporated pools both functional and reflective; outdoor areas were expansive and sparse, as platforms not containers. Structurally, the spaces were defined, detailed and enclosed in strong linear forms of Longhushan stone, timber and render.