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Palace of Pleasure Residential Development

Chongqing, China

Our team was initially hired by the project developers to plan the concept and illustrative plans for a residential development 85,000 square meters in size.

The city of Chongqing, known as the “Mountain City,” with its expanse of surrounding neighborhoods, has long been characterized by its river culture, semi-tropical climate, and the beautiful hills and mountains scattered throughout the municipality. The overall architectural theme of this residential development is based on a modern interpretation of the Neoclassical form. As the development has three distinct housing types—villas, townhouses, and towers—the landscape is the key element that will create a cohesive structure for the overall development. The foundation of the landscape’s overall structure is the meander concept. The rivers around Chongqing have formed the valleys of Chongqing through the centuries, and their patterns have left a distinctive mark on the environment. Through their meanders, these rivers have formed a series of curves, twists, and spaces that permeate the landscape.

The meander concept was used to create a series of small to medium sized spaces throughout the development site. Primarily located off a centralized spine, these spaces provide places for residents to gather, dine, meditate, and socialize. Additional large spaces were incorporated into the network of small garden venues, providing opportunities for civic functions, as well as a series of recreational activities such as playgrounds, exercise circuits, passive trails, and zones for active sports. To further the concept, strong forms of nature via mass planting, pavement patterns, and graphics were incorporated into the design to strengthen the underlying theme of the rectilinear meander and its celebration of life and nature.

In its planning work, our team addressed circulation and traffic access as well as user amenities. The development of a major sports park across the street to the south provides residents with active and passive open space. A retail center is planned adjacent to the site on the eastern edge, which serves as the main public transportation stop linking the site to the center of Chongqing. The northern edge of the site borders an existing military base, and a generous right of way will provide a natural buffer. To the west, a kindergarten is planned to increase further the convenience of living in the neighborhood and development of the community.

Since completing the concept design, we have been retained by the project developer to design subsequent phases of the development (now called “Palace of Pleasure”) including residential sub-sites and the public realm.

Vanke Real Estate Company, Ltd.

85,000 sq m

Business Line


Phil Colleran, Associate Director, Principal