The wryly named Fake Hills is a large apartment complex set on the water in the city of Beihai, China. MAD architects took the long lived Chinese principle of architecture mimicking or responding to nature to counterpoint the modern monolithic residential building trend by using local hill formations as a reference. Its principle design intention was to move away from the current residential towers that are sprouting up in the metropolitan area and reconnect the city with the local hillsides and natural formations. Currently the bulk of building construction in China is cheap residential towers and row buildings that are intended to maximize developer profits but dehumanize and denature the environs. Developed in such a large scale the apartment complex will create an iconic symbol for the city.

Built as a single monolithic wall the apartments have equal solar exposure. Openings in the structure as well as undulations in the roofline relieve the face from creating an overwhelming scale and allow light to penetrate to the neighborhood behind.  A green roof and garden cap the half million square meter development. A separate tower cuts 90 degrees from the development’s bulk, rising above like a head. Seven low-rise towers complete the complex.

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