Multidisciplinary design firm Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM) worked closely with renowned hotelier, Adrian Zecha, and the MAHA team to design the landscape of the lush MAHA Residential Park. The project won the 2022 Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the Private Garden category.
The teams developed a multiphase masterplan strategy to weave a complex mixture of pre-existing contemporary and classically-styled elements at this site, which is located at the northern edge of Chaoyang Park.
The existing landscape was a mix of functional and dysfunctional spaces, including a scaled replica of an imperial garden, and a maturing man-made forest.
BAM’s design for the landscape and master plan unifies disparate aspects of the site together in a seamless series of gardens, functional spaces, and circulatory pathways.The existing landscape spaces are fused with new ones. Conflicting styles, epochs, and cultural references are reconciled with a minimalist landscape approach.
The circulation around the site is defined through a hierarchy subtly expressed through the paving. The main loop is divided into two materials: a permeable poured material and a walking path of granite cobbles. The stone-stepped pathway slows the pace of the walk, allowing one to appreciate the surrounding nature.
The best trees were carefully selected from sites with ancient histories. For instance, the evergreen pines come directly from the base of Taishan, in Shandong Province. Seasonal species that are planted include wisteria vines, maple trees, plantain lilies, and red dogwood, infusing colour and character year-round.
BAM believes unlike architectural fields that depend upon rare or expensive materials to express luxury, a landscape can truly achieve luxurious expression measured in years or decades. BAM wanted to establish a grander sense of time by planting the foundations of a landscape that will grow and continue to mature for generations.