An Alpine World of Concrete: Huangshan Mountain Village in China
MAD Architects have created a miniature Shanshui City on Taiping Lake, which is located in Central China, about 400 kilometres southwest of Shanghai. The area features both real and artistically exaggerated nature: the Huangshan Mountains immediately south of the lake, with their bizarre, pine-covered cliff formations, could have been taken directly from a shan shui painting. In order to reach the lotus-blossom peak at the highest point of the mountain range, tourists ascend a dizzying stairway with no less than 60,000 steps.
MAD’s ten conjoined residential towers on the south bank of the lake have significantly fewer steps. The complex is part of a larger master plan to open up the lake to tourism. As in the mountains, meandering paths wind their way up from the lakeshore and move among the buildings. According to MAD, the shape of the towers was inspired by the region’s typical terraced landscape, which is used for the cultivation of tea. It is fitting for a nature-based landscape that no two adjacent balconies have the same shape. With the exception of the few closed-off wall surfaces on the land-facing side of the buildings, floor-to-ceiling glazing offers a 360-degree view of both the lake and the alpine world to the south.