MAP architecture + planning limited is about to embark upon the second stage of a 250,000 sq m development in tourism hotspot Huangshan, China. Located on the scenic Xian An River, the initial stage of the renewal project has already been completed, comprising a retail complex, villas and apartments, and work is soon to commence on the second phase: a luxury Hilton-operated hotel and a residential complex.
With statistics detailing that 500,000 foreign visitors travelled to the area in 2010 alongside 12 million domestic tourists, the region of Huangshan appears perfectly positioned to capitalise on the hospitality market. Developer Yuan Yi Development Group is aiming to realise a seamless blend of luxury and contemporary design which respects the intrinsic cultural heritage and traditions of the local community.
Lead architect on the project and Director of MAP architecture + planning limited, Edward Billson concedes: “When you are entrusted with a project like this, you feel a keen responsibility to respect the cultural heritage of the area.”
Under the instruction of Yuan Yi Development Group, the design practice formed plans for a sales pavilion which demonstrated the layout, architectural features and build quality of the units for the 1,000-apartment complex, in order to generate investment interest from potential buyers. The mock-ups are arranged in three layouts to replicate the original plans and connect to a panoramic elevator which enables visitors to experience the incredible views that will be afforded by the completed luxury properties.
The Pavilion has been directly influenced by traditional local heritage, with complex laser-cut aluminium panels back-lit with LEDs creating the illusion of a Chinese lantern. Using his extensive experience in South East Asia, Billson has projected that buyers will be shifting their focus away from the headline cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to tier two regions such as Huangshan. He has also suggested that investors are becoming increasingly savvy and now demand a much greater understanding of the properties in which they invest, hence the need for the sales Pavilion.