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Elle Decor Italia

MAD builds new mountain village in UNESCO site in China

Futuristic apartment complex boasts organic design inspired to mountain landscape and tea fields

Fernando Guerra

MAD Architects has just gone through an exciting challenge: to build right in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Welcome to China, in Huangshan to be exact, set in the Anhui Province home to the country’s most towering mountain landscape. Many generations of painters and artists have been drawn to such spectacle of nature, gathering here to find inspiration for their work or simply indulge in pensive, contemplative breaks.

Still, this immaculate gem was soon to be re-discovered: indeed, its blend of tranquility and lush nature quickly made it a widely popular touristic destination, with the subsequent need for further hospitality facilities. Founded by Ma Yansong, MAD Architects was then selected to deliver the “Huangshan Mountain Village”. 

The recently unveiled project belongs to a bigger masterplan aimed at enriching the Taiping Lake area with additional tourist-friendly structures. 

The whole architectural response is built on Huangshan’s unique topography and natural landscape, thus taking its major inspiration from the immediately surrounding mountains. Each building shows off different height and appearance consistently with the local topography, so to ensure that the original mountain levels are perfectly mimicked. The 10 units share a dynamic relationship meant to shape a revolutionary type of village landscape, with architecture and nature dissolving into each other. Think of it as some sort of contemporary organic architecture. 

By following such criteria, no two apartments are the same and their overall undulating design is a tribute to the area’s terraced mountains and tea fields.


“Huangshan Mountain Village” was originally conceived as a complex of quiet hideouts, inclusive of private balcony and large glazed sections set to enhance the apartments’ indoor-outdoor communication.

Architects were keen to encourage outdoor living, by offering guests not only the impression of being privileged witnesses of nature, but also of delving deep first-hand in such a flourishing mix of rocky peaks, lake waters and the sky.

Lastly, the separate blocks are connected by linking pathways that unravel through woodland and provide a unique access to this invaluable UNESCO site.


Mad, la nuova architettura organica arriva dalla Cina

Curva è bella, una casa moderna in una terra antica

Hai sempre sognato una casa di Frank Loyd Wright

by Pietro Terzini / 24 November 2017


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