Beijing-based MAD Architects has completed its first project in the U.S.—Gardenhouse, an 18-unit mixed-use residential project located on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California.
The ground floor commercial space is wreathed in a living green wall, touted as the nation’s largest, of native, drought-tolerant vines and succulents. The white peaks of the 18 residential units appear to “grow” out of the green wall base, sporting irregular windows and gabled roof structures designed in a simple homage to the Los Angeles hillsides.
Residential options at Gardenhouse include two studios, eight condominiums, three townhouses, and five villas, each with its own independent entry and exit. The units surround a private landscaped second-floor courtyard, described as a “secret garden,” designed to foster interaction and community among residents.
Below, the ground floor entrance offers a darker counterpoint to the units’ bright exteriors, with a cave-like atmosphere interrupted by skylights from the courtyard patio.
“Los Angeles and Beverly Hills are highly modernized and developed,” says Ma Yansong, founder and principal partner at MAD Architects. “Their residences on the hills seemingly coexist with the urban environment. However, they also see enclosed movement at their core. The commune connection between the urban environment and nature is isolated. What new perspectives, and new value, can we bring to Los Angeles? Perhaps, we can create a hill in the urban context, so people can live on it and make it a village. This place will be half urban, half nature. This can offer an interesting response to Beverly Hills: a neighborhood that is often carefully organized and maintained, now with a witty, playful new resident.”