Habitat Qinhuangdao

Qinhuangdao, China, 2017 / Built

Habitat Qinhuangdao offers a bold new concept for urban living: high density housing in a garden environment, combining numerous private and public gardens in the sky with a fully landscaped ground plane.

The resort community of Qinhuangdao is 200 miles east of Beijing, with stunning views of the Bohai Sea. Rather than building a community of towers, the project organizes the housing into a series of linked mini blocks of 16 stories each, which are linked together via garden bridges at multiple levels. The bridges are also inhabited with special apartment unit designs. The resulting assemblage provides a large percentage of units with direct access to private terraces with views to the Sea, and all units with access to amenities at the bridges and garden deck levels.

The complex is organized around a beachfront boardwalk running north–south, and an east–west bazaar-like spine that connects abutting communities with the beach. The crisscrossing of these two community spines links the city with the waterfront and provides for daytime and nighttime activities throughout all seasons.

The resulting massing is exceedingly porous, framing views of the ocean, city and sky and providing open views from within, fostering a sense of community.

Habitat Qinhuangdao responds to the beachfront site and local zoning ordinance that requires every unit receive at least three hours of sunlight daily, measured at the low point of the winter solstice. By siting the tower blocks north-south, together with the stepped profile, the solution maximizes construction efficiency, and maintains the benefits of the individual dwelling with terraces, skylights, and solariums.