Aranya Residences: the Magic of Landscape Architecture by

Residential Projects / Residential Projects / China / Built in 2020 /

Renovated from a derelict residential development that was abandoned for 8 years, the design team collaborated closely with clients, architects, interior designers, contractors and suppliers to orchestrate moments of design in the field to sort out unforeseen problems. It creatively used a variety of cactus plants that require low maintenance in Sanya as important featured element to create a rich textured and memorable landscape.

The landscape design is simple and elegant with graceful forms, pure colors, plain texture and well-proportioned plants. The original unorganized spaces are transformed into clean alleys and beautiful gardens that highlight the magic of landscape architecture.

Surrounded by lush green mountains, the 0.85-hectare site is situated in the middle of a 20-hectare derelict residential development in Sanya, China. To redevelop the whole derelict residential area which was abandoned for 8 years, it was renovated as a showcase with both public and private spaces for relax, recreation and respite. The climate of Sanya is very hot and relatively dry, therefore it is good for not only many tropical plants but also cactus plants.

The idea less is more was introduced as design guideline by the design team. Due to limited budget, most retaining walls and structures were kept, so it is wise to use plants as landscape feature elements rather than hardscape. Through thorough study, the design team came up with two major design principles. The first one was to use as less materials as possible to keep hardscape minimal and clean. The second one was to use a variety of cactus plants which require low maintenance in Sanya as important featured element to create a rich textured but simple landscape.

To create a sense of purity and contemplation, white walls were extensive used to form spaces and act as background. Situated close to the road, residence reception center was enclosed by 4 white walls to form a calm and warm welcome space for residents. The outer space was creatively planted with Sansevieria cylindrica , Yucca aloifolia Quadricolor, Cereus repandus and Agave victoriae-reginae T.Moore against the white walls, which serve as the entrance interface. It is simple and impressive. The courtyard was interspersed with Acanthocalycium laeforme, Agave attenuate, Agave americana L., Cereus repandus, etc. on the white-gravel ground. Sitting on the black wood deck and looking back, you will feel getting immersed in the tranquility. Imperfect composition of views allow people to experience the wabi-sabi beauty and leave a deep impression on them.

When you walk pass the threshold consisting with white walls, a “box” of light and shadow will come into sight: white walls, big trees and interspersed cactus plants. Alley not only leads people to their home, but also provides a rectangular garden space for neighborhood gathering.

Walking down the terrace, you will reach the center of the “box” where you can see a large native banyan tree, a wood deck and a lone seat. When the spots of light casting on the ground, the warm and familiar scene will remind you of the good old days. This space encourages people to comfortably sit alone and enjoyed the sunshine coming through the tree leaves. Heading down, you will find a four meters high concrete wall, from which the cascade runs down and breaks the silence of the space.

Minimal use of colors is the key of courtyard design. There are only three colors in hardscape: black, white and natural wood color, while texture is very delicate and rich. The design team creates a shady pergola to provide soothing atmosphere for relaxing, reading and drinking tea.

The design takes advantage of the natural texture of materials, introducing simplicity and comfortableness into the space in a modest way. These residences provide a peacefully aesthetic experience which is realized through the interaction between human and nature.

Role of the entrant in the project:

Aranya Group


Liangjun Zhou, Ting Zhou
Lead Designers

Jinsheng Zhang , Jingzhi Du , Liping Chen , Zhenhua Yang, Pei Han, Yueheng Liu, Yuxi Chen, Hao Yu, Zijian Wang, Cen Lv, Ziyi Li,Hao Li, Fang Qin, Huiting Shi, Weiguang Hou,Hongjie Shi, Yuxin Kang
Landscape Designers

Qian Duo Yuan
Cactus Plant Consultant

Verse Design

Symmetry Design
Interior Design

Rushu Design
Landscape Pot Design

Zhou Hongliang Lighting Design Beijing Co., Ltd.
Lighting Consutant

Lei Wang, Bin Zhang, Zhenyu Wei, Yun Huang

Client Coordinators

Hainan Xingyuan Landscape Construction Co., Ltd.
Landscape Contractor

Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape (if any):

Architecture offices involved in the design (if any):

Project location (For publicly accessible projects please include exact address. For Private gardens place write Country or State):

College Road, Jiyang District, Sanya, China

Design year:2019

Year Built:2020


LILA 2024 Sponsor