Contemporary housing design in China usually follows a standard real-estate formula to reduce the developer's marketing risk as much as possible. Consequently, it is hard to find opportunities for architects to develop new housing typologies in such a market-oriented reality, but the Maillen Hotel & Apartments project is an exception.
Located on a terraced hillside in the Shekou district of Shenzhen, the site is roughly 13,200 square meters in size, and has 25,100 square meters of residential units and hotel rooms built on it. The main goal of the design was to create an attractive place to live. So the architects made the building complex gently grow from the landscape and respond to the geography. They designed the buildings around a series of ponds and courtyards to remind residents of the connection between nature and the man-made environment. Bamboo, pines, and plum trees grow in the courtyards, enlivening,views from the apartments. A simple walkway running through the center of the site seems to float on a winding pool of water, bridging a set of connected gardens.