Huangshan Mountain Village

by | 11. Jan 2013

Feature | Residential

Image courtesy MAD Architects

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.


Image courtesy MAD Architects

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.


Image courtesy MAD Architects


Image courtesy MAD Architects


Image courtesy MAD Architects


Image courtesy MAD Architects

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 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. This is the basic idea; we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city.

/ Ma Yansong

Image courtesy MAD Architects

The village will have seven hundred apartments and is scheduled to be completed by 2014.


Photo courtesy MAD Architects



CITY Anhui Province