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© Yu Bai


Project Name: Longcheer Yacht Club Project Location: Shenzhen, China Lead Designer: SAOTA Project Team: Phillippe Fouche, Stefan Antoni, Greg Truen, Dani Reimers, Ke Lu, Theo Gutter, Mike Wentworth, Henry Abosi Architects: ZHUBO Design Group Lead Architect: Guochuan Feng, Yali Huai Engineer: ZHUBO Design Group Landscaping: Metrostudio Photographer: Yu Bai Copy by: Graham Wood


Set on the Dapeng Peninsula, part of the Daya Bay in Nan’ao, Shenzhen, on a narrow strip of land between Daya Bay and the Yashan mountain range, Longcheer Yacht Club, designed by SAOTA was envisioned not just as a new flagship yacht club and hotel, but also as a catalyst to promote yachting culture and encourage public interest in marine sport.

The site is part of a scenic stretch of coastline that has become a centre for marine sports and leisure activities in China. The club’s neighbours already include a maritime school and marine sports base, and the stretch of coastline it’s on has been earmarked for further development relating to various marina leisure activities.

The site, which included existing yacht jetties, has spectacular views of the bay and Daya Islands, and provides some of the best vantage points from which to view the China Cup International Regatta and other prestigious yachting events. Caught between the mountain and the ocean, the building was envisioned as an extension of the landscape, mediating between the mountain and the bay beyond.

The narrow shape of the site, hugging the jagged coastline, and the need to maximise views of the bay informed the long, linear zig-zag shape of the building and its orientation, while its height and emphasis on horizontality was dictated by municipal restrictions that ensure that ocean views from the scenic main road behind the site are not obscured.

The façade of the building was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns, the concept of the light box multiplied and repeated to create a modular pattern emphasising lightness and transparency, which is particularly effective when seen from the bay at night. An undulating copper-coloured ribbon-like detail feature unifies the façade, delineating the circulation cores and opening up views of the yacht basin.

A series of four rooftop pavilions serve as dedicated entertainment, meeting and reception areas. These lightweight, floating pavilions feature slim, folded, faceted roof shapes, echoing the angularity of the “ribbon” feature on the building’s facade. The large overhangs not only create protected outdoor spaces, but together with the clear expression of their columns involve a contemporary interpretation of some of the defining aspects of traditional Chinese architecture, which also informed the strong axial elements and clear hierarchy of the design.