Text description provided by the architects. The scenery is beauty; nature is grandeur. Abandon screams and self-expression, and embrace silence and tranquillity… “Retreat” is a design attitude.
Sitting next to the third largest urban public park in the world, Chongqing Vanke Forest Park Sales Gallery is a retreat between the city and nature.
The project is a magical house hidden in nature, a wood cabin among fir trees. At its initial opening, it is the sales gallery of the residential project, but it will be turned into a kindergarten for the community in the future.
In terms of design, the building needs to satisfy both the initial commercial sales function and the later educational function, as well as to portray the overall design concept of Chongqing Vanke Forest Park.
Returning to nature is an important part of the modern city lifestyle, and it is a key concept for the project. Hence, a gigantic “mirror” is mounted on the building’s elevation to reflect the 5,000 sqm fir tree wood, and a wood cabin is cut out at the base of the mirror.
Visitors enter the forest into the infinite illusion created by the reflective mirror until they reach the cozy wood cabin – a home in nature.
For children, who are the future users of the building, entering this wonderland allows them to explore the unknown world and fantastical space behind the mirror.
The ‘mirror’ must have high reflectivity as a key design feature, and satisfy the building's energy-saving, insulation and lighting requirements as a curtain wall.
After multiple tests and trials, an exposed insulated unilateral glazing was picked to effectively fulfill the needs of reflectiveness and the indoor environment.
In order to create the aura of "a wood cabin in the mirror", the project has high requirements for united collaboration between architectural design, landscape design, and interior design.
The 5,000 sqm fir tree wood is a container provided by the landscape; the architecture retreat into nature through the mirror. The interior design of the Hall of Seeds adds to the overall concept. The three elements work closely to summon life in the building.
The most beautiful architectural form is symbiosis with nature. In the face of natural beauty and forest charm, ‘retreat’ is an appropriate choice. This building with a design attitude is a door for the little child inside everyone – it leads to a place where they can explore the wood cabin in the world behind the mirror to their heart’s desire.