Lab D+H (Design plus Hope) is an inter-disciplinary design practice committed to affecting positive change in society through design and planning. Working across cultures and at a wide range of scales, Lab D+H approaches every project with deep commitments to craft, thoughtful solutions, and sustainability. From concept sketch to built object, a profound respect for beauty in the natural and built environment perpetually informs our design process. We believe that a successful design is culturally meaningful and feasible through all phases of a project. Mastery of construction combined with sustainable development practices imbue the landscapes of Lab D+H with sophistication and resiliency. Given the fluency in which landscapes lends itself to the scale of infrastructure systems, our practice is invested in the philosophy that designers should instill into a site the capabilities and mechanisms that allow for landscapes to perform as infrastructure. We believe design should be responsible to the places where we practice and should enrich the lives of people who inhabit them.
Located in outskirt of Guangzhou, Vanke Cloud City Phase 2 is a pioneer mixed use development project in China. It is composed of four residential towers with over 5000 small apartments (8-35 sq.m) surrounded by vibrant commercial frontage. This project is one of the first micro apartment projects in China, aiming to satisfy the young newcomers who work in big cities but cannot afford the high price of real estate. With small apartments, young people can continue living in first tier cities, enjoying rich career opportunities, modern facilities, comprehensive public services, and access to cutting-edge information, all while still being able to afford a home. There are two challenges for this project: targeting a young, trendy demographic and keeping construction costs low. To address these challenges, we developed creative modular design strategy for basic landscape elements and variated to 4 different characters. Pixelated paving system enabled unique arrangement of paving for 4 courtyards, Modular furniture system allowed multiple assembly for various uses. On each courtyard, we proposed interactive landscape installation where people gather and interact. This showcase area demonstrated key design elements and installation. Through joint efforts with our client, the design was fully executed. The showcase area also received public praise.
The design for Chengdu Longfor Walktime envisions a contemporary mix of lifestyles, where an assemblage of intimate gardens, playground and public space intertwine to create a rich and dynamic living community for multi-age group of tenants. Beyond diversified programs and activities, the “Mosaic of Lifestyles” concept also inspired the physical geometries and forms that are carried throughout the project’s organization and details. Within this mixed-use development is a residential garden that is organized by a looping pathway. While the circuit observes fire lane requirements, it guides residents towards amenities such as exercise rooms, a children’s playground, water features, and garden pavilion. An enriched and multi-layered planting palette adds multi-seasonal interest and whimsical shifts in colors, aromas, and textures.
Two major amenity areas are Garden Pavilion and Fountain playground area. Garden pavilion will be becoming community’s meeting place and central socializing spot. Surrounded by lush planting, Fountain playground area is an integrated programmed area where children can experience various tactility and playful behaviors over the geometric stone well and topographic features along with play equipment.
With support from our client, this non-hierarchical, non-conventional residential outdoor layout was able to realize, which takes unique position within Chinese typical residential projects.
The Times Jinwan Sales Center is located in the Mountain Lake Sea Community just a few kilometers from the gulf. Due to worn-down old facilities, the client is looking for a landscape improvement solution that will last longer and harmonize with surrounding environment. Two main issues were complicated layout of current design and dense network of underground utility. We respected the existing site condition and simplify the landscape without large amount of change, using a minimal spatial language to build the framework of the new landscape. We focused on fundamental approach to landscape design and gracefully abstracted landforms and pure turf spread from surrounding geographical features such as hills and the gulf, which representing “mountains” and “sea” respectively.
Beyond overall simple look, we also paid close attention to meticulous treatments. In order to celebrate existing mature trees, bright color materials and turfs are selected. Newly proposed path corridors are not only avoiding complex infrastructures below but also optimize circulation of whole area by connecting fragmentary nodes. As an accent feature, geometric fish shape signages and series of lighting fixtures are designed in different forms and functional types.
Huangyang River Wetland Park, located in the center of Doumen District, Zhuhai, has a 4.2 kilometers long coastline and an area of about 40 ha. With Zhuhai developed into the “sponge cities” era, Doumen will become the natural core of Zhuhai with its ecological network system, and Huangyang River Wetland Park is a significant part of “one river two banks and five groups” landscape belt. Sandou Wetland Park inspired by “Dou.” Dou is not only the cultural totem of “Doumen”, it is also a functioning practices. Three wetlands containers of different characters form the urban green lung for the regional environment, and systematically integrate with the urban life, nature experiences and eco-purification. This park is not only a contemporary urban wetland that performs sustainable functions, but also has several classical gardens with elegant structures inspired by local techniques. Beautifully crafted structures carry visitors from wetland to upland via pedestrian bridges, elevate people to have higher vantage point with panoramic view towards and provide gathering spaces with shade canopies.
In addtion to urban character and connection to the city, this park has rural charater as well, where you would hear bird singing and cicada’s song in the park. Sandou wetland park embraces both human oriented spirit and imitation of nature.
Laboratory D+H collaborated with SoA(Society of Architecture) team and the team proposed the dramatically wrinkled roof made of reed mats and hang on the simple structure in the middle of courtyard. This exaggerated roof is expression of one of the outstanding element of traditional Korean architecture. The roof in traditional concept has been characterized by its great height and size which refers surrounding mountainous landscapes and the space underneath roof allows one to experience fresh air and shade. Similarly, this structure works as a window to borrow scenery, protects/accelerates wind and creates phenomenal experiences with sunlight. In order to evoke the sense of nature as well as to enrich the tactile experience, the ground surface is covered with shredded pine tree bark with full of scent and the series of mounds are planted with diverse planting palettes while smoothly covering up the foundation of columns. A large mound on one end of the circle opens up an extra ordinary view corridor along the wrinkle of mats as people climb up on it and put their head out through cutout. Rolled up reed chairs and couches are made to lounge in and several stone land art pieces provide photo taking spots.