Xixi national park, on the outskirts of Hangzhou, China, is a natural landscape that has been moulded by human hands for over a thousand years. The relationship between landscape, architecture and water is ever-present in the wetlands.
These are the keys to interpretation of the design of David Chipperfield Architects’ recently completed Xixi Wetland Estate housing project.
The housing development is surrounded by an apparently wild natural landscape with a water garden surrounding the buildings. The apparently natural landscape contrasts with the architecture, characterised by the regular geometry of the buildings.
Picking up a number of features of the traditional architecture of the village of Xixi, the architects designed the homes to look like rectangular blocks of dark stone built in sets on a common base. The constructions are big dark volumes cut by floor to ceiling windows to take advantage of the natural light and views over the water garden. The bases are floating outdoor spaces which provide access to the buildings and a place for the inhabitants to gather.
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, Shanghai www.davidchipperfield.co.uk
Design: Mark Randel – Partner
Project management: Libin Chen – Partner
Project architects: Ilona Priwitzer, Manh Kinh Tran, Sascha Jung, Samson Adjei
Contact architects: ECADI (East China Architecture and Design Institute)
Landscape architect: Belt&Collins
Structural engineer: ECADI
Services engineer: ECADI
Project management: Hangzhou Westbrook Investment Co. Ltd.
Photography: Simon Menges
Location: Hangzhou Cina
Images courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects
drawings © David Chipperfield Architects
photo © Simon Menges