The architecture studio UNStudio has designed a residential quarter in a developing area of Beijing, known as Miyun Economic & Technical Development Zone 1. The site has some fine natural and landscape qualities, with the convergence of two rivers and panoramic views of the nearby mountains.
In order to maximise the site’s potential, the architects have reduced vehicle traffic in the area to a minimum, favouring a system of centralised car parks and an open spatial organisation of the villas. The residential volumes are shaped like sculptures and the openings are oriented to offer various views of the surrounding scenery.
The main challenge for the architects was to design buildings that could be identified as unique but at the same time were part of a shared space. Several architectural elements were combined in different ways to differentiate the villas. These are a mediation between the interior and exterior and jut out from the façade, like balconies, bay windows and roofs. Another feature that has the same aim are the slight torsions of the facades, creating a continuity between the architecture and the landscape. The clay-coloured facades, created with a recycled stone covering, form a further link between the buildings and the natural environment.
Design: UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Hannes Pfau with Markus van Aalderen and Shoujiong Zhang, Whenzen Yi, Fernie Lai, Yuchen Liu, Irina Bogdan, Cristina Gimenez, Gil Greis
Location: Beijing, China
Images courtesy of UNStudio, photo by Edmon Leong