California-based architecture firm 5+design unveiled plans for Diamond Hill, a mountain-inspired mixed-use project to be built atop a fully integrated transportation hub in Shenyang, China. Designed with dramatic sloping rooflines, Diamond Hill’s mountain-like silhouette was inspired by traditional Chinese landscape paintings and created to minimize the development’s interference with direct sunlight to surrounding buildings. Diamond Hill’s likeness to mountains doesn’t end at the rooflines however; the materials palette and facade design evoke sedimentary rock layers, and a chain of mountain lakes are symbolized by the skylights and glass-covered atrium located at the center of the development.
Chinese code ordinances require that residential buildings receive a minimum of two hours of sunshine on the shortest day of the year. Due to that requirement, 5+design faced the challenge of building a structure with a 7 floor-to-area ratio within a difficult 328-feet height restriction. Diamond Hill’s final shape and extruded shapes were informed by the architects’ sun mapping study and sun path analysis.
Shaped like a donut, Diamond Hill will comprise an 800,000-square-foot four-story mall at its center that’s encircled by jagged peak-like office and residential buildings. Of the over 800,000 square feet of residential space, nearly a third will be designated for SOHO lofts that cater to the younger demographic. Office space will take up 450,000 square feet. “Due to the severity of the climate where the project is located, Diamond Hill has required a great deal of pre-design analysis which has affected the final form,” said 5+design Managing Partner, Michael Ellis. “It’s exciting to take a project with so many restrictions and shape it into a cohesive and dynamic place which will become a new destination in Shenyang.”
Images via 5+design