Mountain Band-Aid is a plan for a sustainable city designed to help mitigate mining damage in southern China while providing a place for local inhabitants to repopulate the countryside. From a distance, the vertical village looks like a graft of humanity onto the countryside – it reclaims the industrial scars created by past generations so that future generations can return to a lifestyle integrated with their surroundings. The project was recently awarded second place in eVolo’s 2012 Skyscraper Competition.
Designers Yiting Shen, Nanjue Wang, Ji Xia, Zihan Wang show great sensitivity to place with their Mountain Band-Aid proposal. The industrialization of southern China has displaced many of the region’s original inhabitants, and adding to the devastating change is a landscape which has been torn up for mineral wealth.
The team’s proposal takes the “traditional Chinese Southern building style known as Chuan Dou” and applies it vertically to the stripped face of the mountain. Large beams sunk into the mountainside support a lattice and platforms which hold the residences and workspaces, creating an ‘inner layer’ and an ‘outer layer’. The unique spaces created by the mountain-straddling skyscraper emulate a traditional Hmong mountain village, giving residents an opportunity to return to a life they have lived for centuries.
The traditionally-sized living and working arrangements are set on the ‘outer layer’, creating a village complete with vertical rice patties. The ‘inner layer’ holds community spaces and interfaces with the mountain. An irrigation system based on rainwater catchment and grey water reclamation feeds plants reestablished on the mountainside. We are not sure how the plants receive sunlight, but bear with us. Vertical escalators move residents quickly up and down the face of the skyscraper village, and an inner path links all the levels for a more relaxed stroll through the 21st-century neighborhood.