The living and dining rooms are in one wing, located to take advantage of orientation toward exterior garden spaces. The kitchen, stair, bath, and a main floor bedroom are in the adjacent wing. Each villa's second floor contains the master bedroom suite along with two additional bedrooms and a shared bath. As a group, the four villas describe the boundaries of each cluster.

Given the damp climate, the villas feature shed roofs with extensive overhangs to protect stone and wood veneered walls below. In the region, high levels of air pollution and heavy rain can cause excessive streaking and staining on building walls.

This development is located on the Yangtze River in Chongqing, a city located in the central region of China. Within the municipality of Chongqing reside nearly 32 million people. Chongqing has a humid subtropical climate, with the two-season monsoonal variations typical of South Asia. Whereas winters are fairly mild, Chongqing is typically damp and overcast, with few sunny days. As such, the typical Chinese requirement that a house's main spaces be designed to receive direct sunlight is not enforced in this city.

Our colleagues at the Beijing firm of BDCL Design International have through the years developed a residential planning concept called "Courtyard Cluster Villas". The Courtyard Cluster Villa is comprised of four units developed around a central, semi-public common courtyard. This unit plan type is a contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese courtyard housing. The courtyard plan provides for the ceremonial movement from the public realm to the private, while promoting and enabling casual interaction between neighbors. From the street and off-street parking spaces, the entry sequence ascends to a common landscaped walk leading to the central, common courtyard. Each villa is accessed through an ornamental gate in the surrounding common courtyard wall. Interior private courtyards continue the ceremony of the entry sequence; designed to achieve variation within a limited space, the individual villa courtyards reflect the traditional Chinese garden.

Each unit entry is located at the juncture of two perpendicular volumes comprising each villa.