Xixi, a national wetland park located on the outskirts of Hangzhou, in China, is a built landscape and natural environment, which has been shaped by man for over a thousand years. The omnipresent relationship between landscape, architecture, and water is key to the atmosphere in Xixi. This atmosphere has been integrated into a new development of apartment buildings.
The apartment buildings, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, are surrounded by a water garden, which, as a reference to the wetland park, is a mostly wild landscape. In contrast to these green surroundings, the buildings appear as dark stone volumes embedded in the water garden. They are, as is typical for villages in Xixi, placed on a stone plinth that sits in the water.
This plinth forms the base of a village group with various levels, walls, and balustrades creating a sequence of exterior spaces, which enable access to the buildings. The interiors are characterised by floating spaces. Room height windows allow for natural light to flood into the apartments and provide wonderful views over the water garden.
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