UNStudio’s Asia office recently completed the Keppel Cove Marina & Clubhouse, a massive waterfront complex in the city of Zhongshan in China’s Guangdong province. Set on the banks of the Xi River, the Keppel Cove Marina was created as part of a 50,000-square-meter masterplan that includes a service building and high-end residential villas as well as supporting infrastructure including bridges, roads and external dykes. Sinuous lines define the eye-catching new marina and clubhouse, which is meant to mimic the form and experience of a luxury yacht.
Conceived as the first and only marina with a private port of immigration in China, the Keppel Cove Marina plays up its special status with a lavish design. At the heart of the development is the Marina clubhouse, which features a fan shape informed by the main access routes that also take in the best views of the water. A bridge, likened to a “stalk,” connects the back of the clubhouse to other developments.
“The landscape surrounding the building is designed and organized with respect to views of the surrounding environment: there are plateaus from which to experience and enjoy the river Xi and viewpoints that connect people with the soft landscape of Shenwan,” explained UNStudio in its project statement. “The architecture allows for these views to also be enjoyed by the public without infringing upon the privacy of exclusive users or residents.”
The Marina clubhouse is intersected by large funnel-like spaces that give the building’s interior its sculptural and curved appearance. These open funnel spaces allow for views and natural light to penetrate through the entire building and also bring in cross ventilation for natural cooling. Taking cues from the materials found in luxury yachts, the architects lined these sinuous spaces with wood paneling, while the facade is made up of bronze-colored aluminum panels. Ample glazing wraps around the building, and the undersides of the roof and the balconies are clad with mirror finishes to mimic the glittering reflection of sunlight off water.
Images © Tom Roe