In response to the front/back nature of the site and layout of the unit plans, the elevations were developed to take advantage of the specific orientation. With uninterrupted views of the Yangtze River and given the overcast nature of the region, east elevations are feature expansive glazing set within a simple concrete frame construction. Due to the significant importance placed on the master bedroom in Chinese culture, the master bedroom suite is developed as a featured element in the structure's architecture. Conceived as a wood-sheathed box, the master bedroom with its terrace is extruded through and cantilevers beyond the main structure's exterior glazed wall. These protruding wood-sheathed forms produce a syncopated rhythm across the otherwise rational expression of the building facade. In contrast, west elevations facing the primary road are mainly opaque with smaller windows openings. The elevator and stair towers, however, are clad in glass with wood banding accents, a contemporary interpretation of, and reference to, the historic Chinese lantern.
The project developer requested a six-story multi-family housing design composed of two-story units. Responding to a prescribed footprint determined by the approved development's site plan, the design is a module containing three stacked housing units. Modules are combined in pairs served by a common stair and elevator. In turn, the paired modules are ganged in series creating blocks that fit the site plan specifications.
Whereas the all of the unit plans are similar, variations occur due to a unit's location within the stack, within the paired module, and within the block. The program for the units required that the main living area be located on the unit's view side and that a portion be two stories in height. Three bedrooms were required, one of which had to be located on the main floor of the unit. The developer requested both an enclosed "Chinese" kitchen and an open "Western" kitchen connected to the main living space. A Chinese code requirement specifies that kitchens must be located on an exterior wall with a window. Unit upper floors contain the master