Longan Woods is a mixed-use master planned community strategically oriented to take advantage of its location on the banks of the Yangtze River and adjacency to large areas of protected national forest by providing access to views, recreation, and open space for its residents.
Managing Scale at the Community and Human Level
As a result of the scale of the project, the design considers the visual impact of the community as seen from a distance by utilizing a variety of heights and architectural styles for the towers while a consistent palette of lighter colors and materials helps them to blend in with the sky. On the ground level, especially in public spaces, at retail edges, and at residential building entries, the architecture of the high-rises uses heavier, darker materials to emphasize the first two to five stories of the buildings to reinforce a pedestrian scale.
Connecting Nature to the Urban Community
The centerpiece of the residential master plan is the Yuzi Creek urban park. Flanked on all sides by high-rise buildings and overlooking retail districts oriented toward the creek, the park offers a range of activities, including boating, hiking, games, teahouses, and native open spaces right in the middle of a dense, urban community.
Managing Mixed Housing Typologies to Capture Views
In combination with naturally sloping topography, height districts are used to maximize views. Low buildings are stacked in rows up the slope and allow several stories of clear views for each row of houses. Mid-rise buildings behind can see over the lowest buildings, and high-rise buildings are farthest from the river, yet still capture river views from above the lower buildings.
Transitioning Between Densities and Uses
Conventional condo and townhouse plans are used as a buffer between lower density villas and high-rise neighborhoods while the new style of semi-detached single-family homes maintains a relatively high overall density at a pedestrian-friendly, livable scale. High-rise neighborhoods provide a mix of unit sizes and maximize open space between the buildings for recreational use. Commercial mixed-use districts serve as a buffer against a busy thoroughfare.
Creating a Pedestrian Orientation
High-rise residential courtyards provide access for pedestrians and emergency vehicles using curved paths in a naturally landscaped setting with parking access and drop-off areas occurring below the courtyard in areas open to natural light, helping to create a tranquil, pedestrian-oriented environment on the surface. Larger areas between buildings are programmed with a variety of usable open spaces and recreation opportunities for all ages.
Design of a 10,000-space shared parking garage below the residential and commercial areas considers access, security, and major circulation both vertically and horizontally. The hillside slope also provides opportunities to stack parking against the hill, minimizing the impact of excavation.