Guanyun Mountain Villas


As a mountain villa the design of Guanyun Mountain Villas focuses on expressing the Oriental Zen, creating a real and quite ceremonial experience which give people a comfortable journey and improve the relationship with nature. Through all kinds of ingeniously borrowing from nature and with the combination of architecture and natural scenery which makes this residence full of fun. The ancient people’s life philosophy of yearning for nature implies the design, and integrates the local courtyard, ingenuity, and tea ceremony culture which makes the design warmer. It not only stays on the form, but also has a deeper expression of the site and the transmission of culture, while generating the subconscious attraction of the customer’s emotions. The local ashlar is selected as the base material for project construction and to be further combined with other materials for use. It makes the project primitive, simple, ecological, green and environmentally protective.

Mr. Hu Shi (Chinese famous ideologist, writer and philosopher) once wrote a couplet which describes a yearning for a turn to simple life, a poetic dwelling place surrounded by natural landscape. People are choosing to live in residences with nature and natural elements and this kind of livable environment is also more in line with the oriental spiritual pursuit and artistic aesthetics. Guanyun Mountain Villas are located at the southern foot of Baohua Mountain, backed by a national forest park, and surrounded by mountains on three sides and lakes on one side. The overall direction of the site is from bottom to top, and the maximum height difference is about 20 meters. The focus of the design is to express the Oriental Zen of secluded mountain residence, and integrate the Oriental residence’s uncut simplicity into the project. This design creates a ritual experience for mountain dwellers returning home, providing sightseeing, wandering traveling and living to enable the “mountain dwellers” to embrace the nature, and also shows the hazy beauty and holy of the mountain, giving way to the landscape and making it return to the soul. The surrounding natural and high-quality landscape resources let the dwellers enjoy the pleasant life in the mountain. The whole site is divided into three parts. The first part starts from the municipal drop off point to the hall, and then through the corridor to the water courtyard. Pass through the bamboo forest to patio in front of the main entrance. The second part is guided by the usher to reach the tea pavilion by walking through the light floating steps, and then from the tea pavilion all the way through the veranda to the sales center. The final part is also led by the usher to go down the mountain and then take the shuttle directly to the parking lot. The space is composed of corridors, pavilions, water and lanes, which create multiple courtyards experience. The courtyards are connected by a secluded mountain path, forming a spatial logic that link between past and the future. Guanyun Mountain Villas abandon the grand and magnificent space-building method, focus on the small scale courtyard to create a space experience with comfortable atmosphere. For example, the ecological masonry wall allows the residents to have no borders with the nature.



The local ashlar is selected as the base material for project construction and to be further combined with other materials for use. In the technology of ashlar construction, the local wall laying technique through ancient method will be used again; the ashlar wall finished in this way will be of more warmth and humanistic care, the stone wall will become more charming as time elapses, which is primitive, simple, ecological, green and environmentally protective. To show the vision of the designer’s mind, the ingenious detail design is crucial. The bond of the masonry wall built with the local ancient method and the pure white wall combines history with modern beauty which makes it not only has a simple and elegant appearance, but also can be used for water proof and prevent mildew.


Because of the particularity of the project, no separate sales center will be built, all building models will be displayed by buildings which will not be demolished after the project is completed, so the project cost investment and the actual display effect will bring more real residential experience to the residents. The project abandons the traditional way of landscaping and adopts ‘dialogue with nature (borrowing scenery)’ to realize the artistic conception of mountain dwelling, which greatly reduces the construction cost of the project.


– The site entrance is affected by elevation difference and the management room (buildings retained in the present situation), so it is difficult to shape the image of entrance guidance. By investigating and analyzing the site and by communicating with owners, we skillfully integrate the living concept of Oriental residence in recovery to original simplicity. The design is based on Mr. Hu Shi’s couplet: “Tree houses, Circumstance reconciles” as the design concept, creating the image of entrance like a living room in forest, and ingeniously hiding the building behind a flourishing wood.

– As the entrance to a real model house, it is difficult to create a ceremonial entrance landscape of real sense because the maintain gate is restricted by its site which is higher inside and lower outside. We have abandoned the ceremonial design of the gate; with the concept of “Come straight to the point, not far from understanding”, we adopt the warm, small gate form and skillfully borrow the mountain scenery to create the image of maintain gate entrance.

– Because the site is unexceptionally narrow and long in space with large height difference, and the available space is small, how to build a streamline to go up and down the mountain has become a problem to be solved. Through analysis on the vertical direction and traffic, bamboo-dense paths are set up as designed at the places mixed with people and shuttle vans, to form traffic isolation and visual guidance. However, in the dedicated pedestrian traffic area, water steps, tea pavilions and corridors are set up to create a pedestrian traffic experience of touring landscape dwelling.


Project category: Residential housing park
Role of the entrant in the project: Design Company
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Yinan Ren, Yixuan Sun, Xiangquan Yang, Renshen Zhang, Zheyun Wang, Mi Ping
Project location: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Design year: 2017
Year Built: 2017


LILA 2022 Sponsor