Tiantai Mountain Retreat

Project status: design development

Tintai Mountain Retreat will be an oasis for Qionglai Residents, an opportunity to escape into the mountainous forest for its wealth of fresh air, water, and scenery. The design proposes an opportunity to integrate human recreation and lifestyle with the natural environment, building architecture that not only seeks balance with nature, but also heightens it. Our massing strategy begins with sensitivity to the site, a delicate exercise in maximizing volume without disrupting the sloping terrain and forested views. The building nestles the volumes into the hillside while re-orientating the volumes to maximize uninterrupted forest view. The folded dragon-like plan at the first floor allows spatial continuity while providing programmatic difference and optimization of framed views. Also, the linear quality of the serpent unfolds as village streets below traditional houses perched above. As guests start their day, they descend from their rooms and come into a ‘market-place’ where old friends meet, new relationships are made, and hard work and play can freely occur. As the dragon folds and terminates, there are optimized views where entire glass facades open to nature. Here, the glass can slide open during the warm summer months acting as open porches. Especially in the conference rooms, the invitation of nature transforms the formal and rigid quality of this business-orientated room, allowing a more relaxed and honest exchange of conversation and discourse.