A Hillside Village

MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong completes ‘Gardenhouse’ the firm’s first project in the USA

MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong completes Gardenhouse

Fact File

Typology: Residential, Commercial
Site Area: 2,400 sqm
Building Area: 4,460 sqm
Building Height: 18m

Located in California’s Beverly Hills, ‘Gardenhouse’ is a mixed-use scheme consisting of 18 residential units above the ground floor commercial space. Evoking the area’s lush landscape, the scheme becomes a “hillside village” with residential units “growing” from the building’s living green wall. Peaking above the landscaped envelope, a cluster of white façade, irregular-shaped windows, and gabled-roof structures create a dynamic neighborhood.

MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong completes Gardenhouse

Upon completion, the scheme will host one of the largest living green walls in the USA. This defining envelope is covered in lush plantings of native, drought-tolerant succulents and vines, whose familiarity to the local climate negates the need for extra irrigation and maintenance. The result is a unique texture forming an organic, natural, seasonal addition to the neighborhood streetscape.

MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong completes Gardenhouse

The different housing typologies include two studios, eight condominiums, three townhouses, and five villas. Each unit has its own independent entry/exit circulation route, while almost every unit features a pitched-roof volume with dynamic interior expressions. Enclosed by this cluster, the 2nd floor courtyard forms a central landscaped gathering space for the small community. With careful consideration given to the distance, orientation, and arrangement of balconies overlooking the courtyard, the result is a private, tranquil space.

The ground-floor entrance has the atmosphere of a cave digging into the hillside; a dim, surreal environment where residents are led on a journey through light, shadow, and the sound of water, which, further ahead, concludes in natural light flooding through a connected water feature from the courtyard patio above.

MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong completes Gardenhouse

Through this project, MAD seeks to offer a rebuttal to the stereotypical cubic box living environments of high-density cities across the world. The result is a physical manifestation of the idea that architecture can connect with both the built and natural environment, to offer a more harmonious living experience.
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