Shenzen Project Won Award Because of Design Solutions Seldom Seen in Hong Kong, Says Architect

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorShenzhen, CHINA–RMJM’s design for the second phase of Mont Orchid Riverlet Residential Development in Shenzhen, China recently won a Medal of the Year Outside Hong Kong from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), at the institute’s annual awards 2007.The HKIA announced eight award-winning projects both in and out of Hong Kong. This is the first time this award has been presented to a project in China. HKIA recognized UK-based architecture firm, RMJM’s design for the second phase of Mont Orchid Riverlet for its approach to high-density living.Completed in December 2006, the project features 13 apartment towers ranging from 21 to 27 stories in height; three six-story townhouses; a clubhouse and two levels of basement with provision for 677 parking spaces. “The project presents a successful example of how variety can be achieved in a high-density high-rise development; in this case, by means of different combinations of repeated design modules and elevation units in a natural setting,” PL Tong, associate director of RMJM and designer in charge of the project, tells MHN. “The strategy of raising the lower residential level allows for the man-made landscape to be received on the ground plane, making the lower portion an integrated whole. As such, this complex represents a fresh approach to high-rise residential development that is seldom seen in Hong Kong.”The 537-unit project which includes four-bedroom units and 4 bedrooms + study units, will accommodate close to 2,148 people.Other design elements include elevation treatment that varies by alternating balcony locations, introducing townhouses at lower levels to face the central landscape and duplex apartments at mid and highest levels to enjoy surrounding sea views. Vehicular traffic and drop-off points are directed to the basement and a minimal number of structural elements reach the ground. Both allow green areas to cover over 50 percent of the site. Tying in with the roof structures of phase one – also an RMJM project – phase two roofs reflect light, mimicking the ever changing clouds and creating a dynamic relationship between indoor living and the natural environment.“RMJM’s goal was to design a development that is integrated into its existing environment. The development aims to become a new force of the environment and a new model of a high-density/high-rise residential development encapsulated in the notion of a vertical neighborhood,” says Tong.