Lake Dragon Residential DevelopmentEdit profile
Lake Dragon Residential Development is a high end, low density residential project situated in Guangzhou, the centre of one of China’s most advanced commercial and manufacturing regions. The development takes its name from the nearby Nine Dragon Lake, an area of scenic and natural beauty. Phase 1 of the development creates a contemporary village environment combining European architectural elements with aspects of Chinese vernacular architecture in unique and unexpected ways. Lake Dragon comprises 206 villas and a clubhouse with a total gross floor area of 166,484 square meters. These modern two-storey and three-storey detached and semi-detached villas range from 343 square meters to over 875 square meters. In keeping with the outstanding natural beauty of the site, the guiding concept behind the project was to ensure that residents feel that they are in the “garden`, integrating open views wherever possible into the private garden of each villa or across the surrounding golf courses. The villas themselves are constructed in order to complement and blend in with the environment using stone and other materials in natural earth tones. Another unique feature of the project is the revival of the Chinese vernacular architectural model of the siheyuan, the traditional courtyard houses that still form the hutong districts of old Beijing. Large villas of over 875 square meters are designed in the form of a quadrangle with traditional courtyards and side houses, but unlike the closed, inward-looking courtyards of the past, the Architect has instead created a transparent and outward focus that embraces the surrounding open landscape. In order to reduce the overall environmental impact, the development also implements a number of initiatives, including water recycling and solar energy. The Design The design implements the project’s guiding principle of living in close proximity to nature by blending inside with outside in a distinctly modern style. To dissolve boundary between the site and its environment, each individual unit has been carefully orientated to ensure there is either a mountain view or golf course view, along with forecourts and side garden. Each villa incorporates frame/portal features on the elevations framing the different views and giving individual character. To achieve the design concept of merging a sequential experience into its functions yet merging to its setting, the architects have planned the accommodations / functions in stratified layers. The layering of spaces allow each function to be visually linked and hence the physical boundary of interior and exterior becomes blurred. Double volume space is provided in the living space with a full height glass wall, connecting the interior and exterior spaces and drawing the surrounding natural environment indoors. Terraces and balconies extend from the family rooms and bedrooms, further connecting the interior spaces with the surrounding nature. Stone and natural profiled tiles are used for the external walls of the villas, merge the buildings with the natural surroundings. Aluminum fins and frames are used as highlights which also give a modern touch to each villa. Additionally, each building has been designed to allow occupants to install solar panels to generate renewable energy. Alongside stand-alone and semidetached villas, the design deliberately incorporates principles of traditional Chinese vernacular architecture as a particular concept for the larger residences, but reverses the inward or courtyard focus of the courtyard house to create open, transparent living spaces that blur the distinction between the interior and exterior. These contemporary siheyuan incorporate internal courtyards that form a vista at the entrance foyer, thus allowing natural light to reach the core of the villa, illuminating the corridor and inner living spaces. The courtyards also provide open views into the transparent living/dining area as well as expansive views onto the surrounding landscape, interlocking interior and exterior forms. The Sales Office The architect was also commissioned to design an independent Sales Office to showcase the project. The Sales Office comprises three pavilions that appear to float above a reflective pool. In contrast to many other sales offices that are enclosed, the Lake Dragon Sales Office is intentionally created to be open and transparent, taking in the natural light, the surrounding landscape and the reflective quality of the water features. At night, the complex transforms into a crystalline structure which merges with its reflection to form a shimmering rectangle of light. The interior design emphasizes a spatial experience in synergy of closed and open spaces that flow between various functions. Characterised by its understated opulence, the interior incorporates black and white marble flooring, a grand staircase leading to the Sales Office VIP lounges and large-scale contemporary sculpture. The centerpiece for the main hall is a 6 x 8 meter chandelier, which illuminates the architectural model of Lake Dragon. A cylindrical theatre is also a key feature of the complex. The architect has succeeded in the marrying of the two architectural styles to create an outstanding living environment that blurs the boundaries between the exterior and interior, at the same time consciously attempting to minimize the ecological impact of the development. Lake Dragon and its design have garnered praise from the property industry for these unique qualities. Despite the global economic downturn in the first half of 2009, sales of the villas have exceeded expectations, with almost all the 110 units in the Phase 1 development sold immediately upon release at above market prices. In view of the numbers of subsequent sales enquiries have been received the second and and third phases of the development are currently underway to meet the demand.