Purple Jade Manjiangwan: One of the Best Destinations in China

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Purple Jade Manjiangwan is located in Jiangxin Island, Manjiang Town, Changbaishan, Jilin Province, an area characterized by unique natural landscape, rich culture and tradition. The mountain range on the border with North Korea, is one of the UNESCO world’s biosphere reserves.


The main objective of the project is to design the first eco-sustainable village of the area, fully integrated in the surrounding natural context, following some traditional architectural principles typical of Italian mountain small villages and combining them with the location features. The village will provide a balanced mix of functions, from leisure activities to hospitality and retail, to boost the touristic attractiveness of the area and to make it a top destination 365 days a year.  The final total built area will be 179,675 square meter, while the site area is over 132,600 sqm.04 Overall Bird View Winter Low

The local context plays a vital role in the whole project. All design solutions aim at enhancing and further beautifying the landscape that surrounds the island.05 Overall Bird View Night Low

This is the reason why “Slow City” (“Citta’ Slow”) movement has been taken as fundamental basis of the whole urban planning and project development vision. 19227182_112538329606_2

The Mission of this organization, founded in Italy at the end of the 90’s, is to offer a qualitative answer to the fast and uncontrolled development of contemporary society, and to help towns and cities re-gain their core identity, values and traditions, such as protecting the local environment, promoting local products and traditional activities, maintaining and developing the characteristics of the area and urban buildings, creating spaces for social interaction and cultural exchanges and improving quality of hospitality, removing physical and cultural obstacles. Today Slow City counts 150 cities in 25 countries, included China, located in all five continents.

The very first link between the project and the natural context is offered by the peculiar shape of the project location, very similar to a leaf. The main veins of the leaf become the main roads and axes of the town, positioned inside the island according to the urban structure of traditional Italian towns: at the centre of the island there is the main square and main axes and the commercial street branch off from it. In the inner part there are several facilities related to local traditional culture, art and craft, retail and wellness.01 The Concept

An ideal “Fil Rouge” connects the main buildings and facilities of the island: the city gate and the hot springs at the entrance, the hotels, the town hall and the shops, culminating in the main open-air square with its church, the space of social interaction and meetings. The other side of the island hosts residential and hotel areas.10 Main Square Low


08 Access to Village LowThe entrance of the island actually plays a crucial role in the project: being the first phase to be developed, it will accompany the visitor from outside the island to the hot springs and the exclusive hotel. The main design feature is red metal roof slabs that gradually move downwards, becoming the symbolic entrance door to the island, ending in the thermal water pools of the hot springs.

307615692Changbaishan, is a volcanic site and the local natural hot spring are among the best in the world, then another key feature is the huge open air hot-spring area, overall area over 10,000 sqm.


06 Hot Springs Day LowThe village will be kept alive through activities and facilities planned to give a new life to the village, targeting the needs of the user who looks for a new, contemporary and captivating experience.

The architectural design will follow local principles and character but will be not a copy of old time constructions. All building will be reinterpreted by contemporary style with traditional feature and local materials. The structure recalls some typical elements of the existing local architecture, including the use of wooden sloping roof, frames and structural repartition. The materials chosen for the buildings further reinforce the connection with the context: natural materials, like wood and stone, are largely deployed.

1295343859In the National Classic Habitat Architectural Planning and Design Program Competition 2015, Progetto CMR won the Golden Award for Planning for this Purple Jade Manjiangwan Project.

1208212620The project first phase will be completed before winter time.