Soothing Mountain Residence Within A Steel Jungle

November 4, 2022
Emily Wordsworth

Mountain dwellings have long been home to Chinese people across different dynasties and rulers. Naturally, like most of the world, people began to flock to the cities and steel jungles became the home of choice. Now confined to narrow boxes suspended in the sky, people are further from the mountains and rivers that previously sustained us than ever before.

This was the driving force behind this residence. An immersive experience that integrated architecture, nature, humanity, art, and life altogether. It honours the many facets of a mountain-dwelling through the lens of modern design, creating a space for serenity that nourishes the soul. Thoughtful architecture and design like this demonstrates how interior design can directly affect one's well-being and one's ability to detach from the pressures of modern living.

The exterior of this property plays an equally important role as the interior. Whilst located on a quiet street, it still exists within a city. It, therefore, lacks a natural landscape that can be adopted into the scenery. This is why multidisciplinary design and architecture firm, Peng and Partners, opted for high walls with a rough stone surface to create a small universe of its own. Upon entering, everything of the outside world feels like a distant memory, leaving only the breath of the mountains to guide you.

Step inside, and the furnishings are a far cry from traditional showrooms. Instead, the space feels lived in, true to life and warm. Time-honoured sofas and aged wood furnishings make for a vivid setting for companions to speak to one another. In such quiet spaces such as these, storytelling comes naturally.

Through rugged textures, soft lighting and natural materials, glimpses of wabi-sabi can be felt throughout this interior. Almost as if to bring remnants of the outside in, which has proved to be an interior style that has staying power. The decor stands in stark contrast to some of the large geometric blocks that divide rooms, creating an undeniable sense of grandeur. While some walls are smooth on one side, others remain unpolished, as if one were washed by water and the other was eroded by the wind.

Towards an indoor garden, even here, light is used sparingly by stacking glass bricks to let minimal daylight pass through. Its effect is reminiscent of moonlight. Detail is of the essence here. Where even the ceiling adopts a paint that mimics the likeness of soil, allowing you to feel the power of nature from all angles.

Walking throughout the property, you can sense minute changes in sound, weight, height and light as you move through it. Much like spaces in nature, it never remains static but undulates with emotion. The building itself feels as though it was formed over thousands of years whilst still embracing the modern comforts of neo-Chinese design. Peng & Partners uncanny ability to capture the best of nature, is cathartic to those of us who wish to return to a simpler way of living.

“Nature has the power to heal because it is where we are from, it is where we belong and it belongs to us as an essential part of our health and our survival.” – Nooshin Razani