Chinese Baskets: Proposal for Wellness Retreat Conceptualized by DeD Studio

Chinese Baskets

What if cocoons, seedlings and sprouting buds become our new gorgeous abode to relax and rewind? The proposal for a wellness retreat envisioned by DeD studio as ‘Chinese Baskets’ presents an innovative ensemble of bud-like parametric forms in thousand tree estates in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. Their design brief bestowed to compose and develop an expansive master-plan and architectural identity for the wooded area which includes numerous protected ancient trees. The idea hopes to entwine and cherish natural living, away from the urban sprawl and encouraging a sustainable approach to the retreat.

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Chinese Baskets

The concept of ‘Chinese Baskets’ for the retreat inspired the project to unravel as a unique collection of architecturally woven pods scattered throughout the forested landscape. They embark on a visual dialogue within its context and on each other. Connected and budding in harmony. The entire setting promotes exploration and takes you on a scenic ride as you wander through the enriching estate.

Chinese Baskets

All dwellings exude a single identity, be it architecturally or naturally witnessed. There lies a true inspiration emerging from the landscape, cuddling the vision of a retreat. Visually struck in small scale, yet so lightly touching the ground and adapting steeply across the contoured site. The dwellings flaunt lush views on the landscape whilst maintaining privacy for inhabitants internally and externally. The designers sliced the silhouette of each dwelling to the scale of the forest, minimizing visual impact from afar. Each unit splits into different volumes and typologies, forming distinct clusters reflecting the spatial functions within. The architectural language ooze inspiration from a collection of old bamboo rice baskets, often used for storage. They weave, knot and intertwine in colloquy with each other and sprout into different shapes and sizes. A bundle of unity in collaborated assembly.

The theme of hand-woven Chinese Baskets translates to a similar fabrication process using the same material, yet uniquely crafted with regional differences. The design crafts bamboo with subtle differences in density and texture reminisces the form and texture of these baskets scattered across the forest landscape. The expression of the dwelling typologies agglomerate as volumes defined by function, they cluster and expose 360 views of the surrounding landscape. They can even open to the top, allowing unobstructed views of the canopy and the thrilling night skies.

As the buildings lift off the ground, they benefit from being able to deal with complex topographic conditions of the site and also screening better views within the trees. The building skin acts as a filter, allowing dappled light to scramble in albeit ensuring shelter, privacy and protection. The internal lighting glows out in the dark, triggering a twinkle, like a firefly resonating through the landscape and splashing flickers over pathways and around the gatherings.

Chinese Baskets
Chinese Baskets

Bent bamboo pole framework bundles the structures with natural abundance and ecological benefits of a fast-growing renewable material often associated with scaffolding. In the prime framing, a network of woven fibres forms diverse densities and patterned screens according to the location on the building envelope and orientation. These elements cut deep into flexible strips, described not by a definitive result but by the density. Behind the glazing line, it provides necessary thermal control, often to be sliding screens allowing inhabitants to open up the forest whilst maintaining some privacy and screening from outside. Foundations contrive simple screw piles with precast footings tailored to each typology and the lift of the bamboo structure off the damp earth protecting it from degradation. The designers’ vision is to construct floors using simply exposed bamboo poles radially arranged and layered to form platforms and floor plates.

Chinese Baskets

Each unit, a distinct typology arranged and stacked in splendiferous synchronization.

Boutique Hotel YD01

Arranged around a central vertical lobby, the hotel takes off with all public and rooms orientated to face out onto the water with several south-facing terraces at different levels awakening views out over the entire estate. The rooms look onto the waterbed and each has a screened terrace behind the bamboo latticework facade.

Chinese Baskets

Guesthouse YD08

The guest house comprises three volumes corresponding to the 3 core functions of the dwelling, to be arranged over two floors with upper and lower seating. Allowing people to relax collectively or individually. A raised walkway accesses each unit and orientates towards the waterbed, infusing sunshine and capturing prolific vistas.

Chinese Baskets

Guest Villa YD09

The villa breaks rules and embeds the building more closely into the landscape. Arranged as a two-storey dwelling with a small external pool and separate annexe building. A fully self-contained building with some basic cooking and entertaining facilities for a small group of people to join in the evenings.

Chinese Baskets

Hill Top Mansion YD11–TYPE D

Non-Cartesian in its expression the mansion exudes as a rural manor house with a central arrival hall, and spaces arrayed off with internalized smaller service spaces, weaving thresholds between the arrival hall and the outward-looking primary living spaces.

Chinese Baskets

Hill Top Mansion YD13–TYPE B

The smaller of the hillside mansion blocks organize around a cloistered external courtyard providing principal circulation with a separate annexe building, for sleeping and bathing facilities embedded into the hill. A small private pool indulges you in bathing and relaxing in the summer.

Chinese Baskets
Chinese Baskets

Treehouse YD16/17

Climbing treehouses grants us access to reach a higher level and enrich the plush greenery from a different perspective. The walkways deliberately meander through the canopy rather than across the ground. Instead of rooms spaces, they divide into levels and connected openings and stairs doubling as seating points. The dwelling delivers more to the basic functions of stay, sleep, ablution and relaxation. Also encouraging treehouse dwellers to go out and explore the manor.

Project Details
Architect: Dave Edwards
Project Location: Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China
Project Name: Chinese Baskets: Proposal for Wellness Retreat
Architecture Firm: DeD Studio
Website: www.dave-edwards-design.com
Year: 2021

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Swarming Colonies / Digital Ecology – Generative City

Swarming Colonies is a generative design project and is one of the projects to come out of the DIGITAL ECOLOGY– GENERATIVE CITY studio workshop by PAACADEMY and tutored by Soomeen Hahm and Hanjun Kim. Designed by two talented students, Simina-Ioana and Deeksha Basawaraj, the project is rooted in a synergy of traditional Indian and Romanian patterns derived from traditional architecture of both countries and is envisioned within a dying coniferous forest situated in a post apocalyptic world by Simina- Loana Dimcea and Deeksha Basawaraj.

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Lankuaikei Agriculture Development Headquarters Visualized by MVRDV

Imagine a building of terraces and garden composing a stimulating and enriching space to work and cherish. Lankuaikei Agriculture Development Headquarters (LAD) in Shanghai, visualized and stacked as an 11-storey terraced office building by MVRDV imbues so much to explore and rejoice. Knitting high and low-tech sustainable strategies woven by a swooping parametric roof showcasing the agriculture technology company in lustre. At the centre of Lingang New Town, the building embellishes as an agricultural oasis surrounded by a lake in a rapidly developing urban area in Shanghai.

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PA Talks 39 – Alexander Josephson

In this episode of PA Talks, we were delighted to invite Alexander Josephson, a Toronto-based architect and cofounder of PARTISANS. Hosted by PA’s founder, Hamid Hassanzadeh, the interview covered topics like Alexander’s architecture career, and Partisans’ recent projects including 55 Yonge and Orbit. Alex also shared some reflections on the future of architecture and architectural practice in a post-COVID world.

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One Thousand Museum Residential Tower Erected by Zaha Hadid Architects

When architecture blends with the flowing wave of the wind and the sea, it sparks an amusing character and definition. One Thousand Museum, a masterpiece project by Zaha Hadid Architects, revealed as a monumental architecture and structural play soaring 62-stories of the residential tower opposite Museum Park in Miami. Exposing flourishing views across Biscayne Bay, the 30-acre Museum park rechristened in 2013 as one of downtown Miami’s prime public zone, integrates the city’s new art and science museums.

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EMPAC Exhibit an Ellipsoid Inside a Cuboid by Grimshaw Architects

A peculiar sight enthrals your imaginative mind to wonder and gasp in awe! EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) facility captivates you with an avant-garde expression of a wooden ellipsoid inside a glazed cuboid designed by Grimshaw Architects. The vision crafts the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an innovative immersive performance environment, housed in a singular structure that conveys the project’s momentous contribution to the campus.

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Drift Bridge Crafted in Timber and Steel by Volkan Alkanoglu

Drift Bridge

A bridge aspires to be a passage, a bond, a way to join hands and become united. Drift, a timber-and-steel pedestrian bridge designed by Volkan Alkanoglu, in Fort Worth presents a simplistic vision that crosses beyond boundaries. Drift unveils as an innovative example of plug-and-play urbanism, an emerging sustainable and affordable design strategy that proposes to execute infrastructural elements off-site and dropping them onto the site. Volkan and his design team fabricated the bridge off-site with a projected installation time of a few hours.

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Tulum Train Station: An Aerodynamic Grid Shell Imagined by AIDIA Studio

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

What an exciting way to board a train from a station that welcomes and evokes you with a sensorial experience. Tulum Train Station visualized by AIDIA studio unveils a dynamic latticed structure sitting in the beach resort of Tulum, in the Mexican Caribbean, along the Riviera Maya. The design presented to travel beyond boundaries, being sustainable, optimizing and performing a narrative of the pre-Hispanic Mayan architecture spectated by the use of light, shadows, patterns, materials and vegetation.

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Tulum Train Station

As you enter, the crisscrossing frames bash a sense of awe and make your heads turn. One of the key design factors intervened to unravel a minimal footprint for the station. The team explored different spatial configurations and eventually contrived an eye-shaped form, widening at the centre and tapering at the ends. The primary functions converge in the central arena, incorporating the most space usage efficiency. In addition, enhanced by stacking the public programmes above the platforms lashing a more compact scheme, allied across levels with vertical circulation and featuring a grand hall flooded with light and natural ventilation.

Tulum Train Station

The designers keenly explored the manner of user experience, ease of mobility, orientation, and sweep of natural light. The linear configuration of the station and the symmetry that stretches centrifugally from the roof geometry intuitively navigates users towards the centre of the station. In laying out the commercial component, the designers aimed to celebrate the experience of rail transportation by framing views of inbound and outbound trains, and by laying out the retail spaces on a direct visual connection with the platforms.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

With the tropical climate in the Yucatan peninsula receiving rain and high humidity in the summer, the team envisaged a large open lattice roof, glazed in strategic locations, to deal with the extreme weather. Also, the manner of public semi-open spaces functions without mechanical ventilation. The sunlight piercing through the roofs intriguing complex geometric that seeps onto the walls and floors of the station, fashioning a play of lights and shadows dancing throughout the space and evoking distinct sensations on the travellers.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Tulum Train Station

The grid shell openings of the Tulum Train Station respond to the radiation exposure throughout the day, while smaller openings on the zenith reduce the heat gain. Larger openings on the flanks verge and edges channel air and light when the temperature descends. This passive strategy negotiates the radiation exposure and brings a controlled amount of natural light to wash into the station.

Tulum Train Station

The aerodynamic geometry of the roof promotes the suctioning of the ocean breeze and funnels it through the station. This weaves a comfortable atmosphere for its users with no mechanical ventilation. The designers’ vision wraps the steel grid shell roof with Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GRC) panels on the top and laminated wood panels assembling below. The resulting motives on both outer and inner sides are reminiscent of Mayan traditional geometrical patterns.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Throughout the design journey of the Tulum Train Station, the known features of Mayan Architecture embellish in numerous characteristics; symmetry, monumentality, geometrical alignment, and the use of limestone attributing the Mayan architecture. They have attempted to honour this heritage by rescuing that same spatial quality just reinterpreted in a more fashionable elucidation.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Project Details:
Project Name: Tulum Train Station
City: Mexico
Architecture Firm: AIDIA STUDIO
Office Website: www.aidia-studio.com
Project Location: Tulum, Mexico
Built / Unbuilt: Unbuilt
Lead Architects: Rolando Rodriguez-Leal & Natalia Wrzask
Project Team: Mariano González Silva, Emilio Vásquez Hoppenstedt, Rodrigo Wulf Sánchez
Structural Engineering: Project & Calc
Client: FONATUR Tren Maya
Area: 14,400 sqm
Construction: January 2022 – June 2023

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Leeza SOHO: An Intertwined Tower Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects

Leeza SOHO

A cylindrical volume, sliced in half and braced, reveals a seamless expression of spaces. Leeza SOHO, an intertwined and cracked open tower designed by Zaha Hadid Architects on Lize Road in southwest Beijing, revel in an astonishing play of glass, light and structure. Leeza SOHO tower anchors the new Fengtai business district, a budding financial transport hub connecting the city centre and the Beijing Daxing International Airport. Fengtai avows to be an integral district to Beijing’s multi-modal urban plan – facilitating growth without impact on existing infrastructure networks in the city.

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Leeza SOHO

The concept sparks from an ellipsoid split in warping curves, bulging and curing conic facades. The stylish and elusive 45-storey 172,800m² tower, attired in tiny frames of diverse angles, responds to small and medium-sized businesses in Beijing for supple and resourceful grade A office space. A subway service underground tunnel diagonally dissects the Leeza SOHO site, with the intersection of five new lines under construction.

Leeza SOHO

The tower divides into two undulating halves enclosed by a single facade shell atop the tunnel. The emerging open space soars to the full height of the tower, crafting as the tallest atrium at 194.15m, that rotates through the building as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with Lize road The atrium rotation intertwines Leeza SOHO’s two halves in a dynamic ‘pas de deux’ with connecting sky bridges, braced on levels 13, 24, 35 and 45. The tower’s glazed facade proliferates varying panoramic views, screening the city and transport hub.

Leeza SOHO

Leeza SOHO’s twisted and sculptural form of the atrium acts as a public square for the new business district. The atrium channels natural light to stream within the building, also acting as a thermal chimney with an integrated ventilation system. The overall form sustains positive pressure at a low level to limit air ingress and ensure clean air filtration and make way within the tower’s interiors.

Leeza SOHO

Leeza SOHO incorporates double-insulated and unitized glass curtain walls, that step the glazing units on each floor at an angle, as well as narrow ventilation, draws outside air through operable cavities; creating extremely efficient environmental control on each floor. The tower’s two halves shade the atrium’s public spaces, while the double-insulated low-E glazing maintains a comfortable indoor environment in Beijing’s extreme weather. With a u-value of 2.0 W/m²K, the glazing has a shading coefficient of 0.4. The tower’s overall external envelope u-value is 0.55 W/m²K.

Leeza SOHO
Leeza SOHO

Zaha Hadid Architects and SOHO China have implemented proven technologies at the forefront of 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) to reduce the energy consumption and emissions in their four collaborations, amassing 15 million square feet of mixed-use urban space in Beijing and Shanghai.

Leeza SOHO
Leeza SOHO

Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council, Leeza SOHO’s advanced 3D BIM energy management system monitors real-time environmental control and energy efficiency. The systems integrate heat recovery from exhaust air and high-efficiency pumps, fans, chillers, boilers, lighting and controls. The tower incorporates water-collection, low-flow rate fixtures, grey water flushing and green roof insulation with a photovoltaic array to harvest solar energy.

Leeza SOHO
Leeza SOHO


The Leeza SOHO provides 2,680 bicycle parking spaces, with lockers, shower facilities and dedicated charging points for electric and hybrid cars below the ground. The team installed low volatile organic compound materials throughout Leeza SOHO to minimize interior pollutants and engage high-efficiency filters to remove particulates via the air handling and purification system.

Project Details
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Area: 172800 m²
Photographs: Hufton+Crow
Manufacturers: B&B Italia, Boon Edam, Elmes, HAY, Hitachi, Kohler, Nippon Paint, Beijing Huaxin Ocean, Gretsch­-Unitas, Hong Fa, Jiangsu Huatong, Kin Long, Noble, Samsung, Tianjin Yaopi, eGRow
Architect In Charge:Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
Zha Project Director: Satoshi Ohashi
Zha Project Architect:Philipp Ostermaier
Zha Project Associates: Kaloyan Erevinov, Ed Gaskin, Armando Solano
Zha Project Team:Yang Jingwen, Di Ding, Xuexin Duan, Samson Lee, Shu Hashimoto, Christoph Klemmt, Juan Liu, Dennis Brezina, Rita Lee, Seungho Yeo, Yuan Feng, Zheng Xu, Felix Amiss, Lida Zhang, Qi Cao
Zha Competition Directors: Satoshi Ohashi, Manuela Gatto
Zha Competition Team Lead Designers:Philipp Ostermaier, Dennis Brezina, Claudia Glas Dorner
Zha Competition Team: Yang Jingwen, Igor Pantic, Mu Ren, Konstantinos Mouratidis, Nicholette Chan, Yung-Chieh Huang
Client: SOHO China Limited
Executive Architect: Beijing Institute of Architectural Design
Structure: Bollinger + Grohmann (Stage 0,1); China Academy of Building Research (Stage 2); Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Stage 3,4)
Facade: Konstruct West Partners (Stage 2); Kighton Facade (Stage 3,4); Yuanda (Stage 3,4)
MEP: Parsons Brinkerhoff (Stage 2); Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Stage 3,4)
Lighting:J+B Studios Architectural Design (Stage 2); Light Design (Stage 2,3); Leuchte (Stage 4)
Landscape: Zaha Hadid Architects (Stage 2,3); Ecoland (Stage 4)
Interiors: Zaha Hadid Architects (Stage 2,3); HuaTeng (China) (Stage 4)
Signage: Dongdao (Stage 4,5)
LEED: Schneider Electric (Stage 2)
Helipad: Zhi Jiu
Traffic Consultant: Dazhengtong (Stage 3,4)
Quantity Surveyor: Liby Limited (Stage 2)
Site Supervision: Shuangyuan (Stage 5)
Modelmaker:Gaojie (Stage 2,3)
Visualisation: MIR (Stage 3,4), Cosmoscube (Stage 3,4), Frontop (Stage 2), Gozen (Stage 2), Zero (Stage 2), Atchain (Stage 4)
General Contractors: China State Construction Engineering Corporation Nr. 8
Facade Contractors: Yuanda, Lingyun
Interior Contractors: Suzhou Gold Mantis, Beijing Qiaoxin
Landscape Contractors: Jingtai
Elevators & Escalators Contractors:Hitachi
Landscape Lighting Contractors: Beijing Jiahe Jinye Lighting Engineering Co. Ltd
Mep Contractors: Yiju
City: Beijing
Country: China

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Forest Building Triangulated & Trussed by Trace Architecture Office

Forest Building

A lush landscape, shimmering waters and an architectural vision. Forest Building visualized by TAO (Trace Architecture Office) unveil a brilliant structure captured in a park full of trees by the Grand Canal River on the east side of Beijing. Started with no bounding programs, the space defined a flexible nature, welcoming myriad functions, be it a restaurant, bar, event space, gallery, office, and so on.

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Inspired from the concept of No-stop city, a utopian urban design proposal by Archizoom in the 1960s based on indeterminism, Forest Building explores a spatial dialogue evolved from additive units retorting to the program’s uncertainty, structural form and construction system responding to the character of the site.

Forest Building
Forest Building

The architects began by exploring and examining the site to trigger a vision that captures the true essence of the place. The meandering river and sumptuous trees imbue a strong character to the site, so the idea emerged: to weave a place where people can sit under the serene trees and adore the panoramic view of the river.

Forest Building

Resembling what everyone does in a park, even without architecture, became the beginning. Then, a base unit was developed and organized in a grid system that generates the overall dissected form with triangulated tops. Later on, the structure, material, landscape, mechanical system, drainage, all these elements conceived and developed, echoing the original aim.

Forest Building

The structure of the Forest Building rambles in a basic unit repetition of a tree-like pillar with four cantilevered beams stacked at varying heights. The plan follows the grid system, flexibly adapting to the terrain and existing foliage. The flowy flexibility breaks down the construction into several phases. An elevated floating concrete platform protects the glulam structure from moisture. The utilities run underneath the concrete floor, keeping away from the wooden ceiling and granting the freedom to express spaces and structure in pure fascination.

Forest Building
Forest Building

TAO designers mainly constructed the architecture from glue-laminated wood and rammed earth. The inculcation of natural biodegradable materials adjusts the relative humidity and temperature of the indoor and outdoor areas, bestowing the earth with subtle transformation. Clear glass windows in the Forest Building occupy the space between wooded columns and rammed earth walls, inviting people inside to experience the man-made forest and the natural forest outside at the same time.

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