Designer in China. The Neighborhood.

My office in China is cold & plain (cold b/c they don't have central heat & everything is marble & COLD). But it's ok, it's right next to a Buddhist Temple & sometimes I can hear the monks chanting while I work. I'll post about it sometime. ALSO in my office are these incredible models of the neighborhood/ subdivision I'm working on. 1 of the models shows phase 1, which is being built now. The other includes phase 2 which is currently in the planning stages. The neighborhood is right in front of a mountain, that's really sort of a large hill, but it's pretty. All of the water you see will be put in when the houses are further along, it's not natural.

This is the main entrance to the neighborhood, the clubhouse I'm designing is at the end of this street/walkway. The make streets here about 1-1/2 lanes wide, makes for some interesting driving confrontations, a lot of honking. I try not to pay attention, it makes me too nervous, I don't drive here I always have a driver or a taxi.

They build houses differently in China. There are no wooden studs, all of the walls are concrete cinder blocks. WHICH means that all of the plumbing & electrical has to be added ON TOP of that, not within it. That has taken a large adjustment & also made the rooms smaller than originally planned. I am working on 2 houses right now. The clubhouse & the model. The clubhouse is a sort of entertaining area for the investors of the neighborhood. It is NOT for use of the neighborhood like the clubhouses in the

States. It is huge & there are 4 main suites as well as a master & guest suite. The model is exactly that, an example of what can be done in the houses. In China when a house is sold it is empty. No cabinets, no flooring, no lighting or electrical. There are no selections for the homeowner to choose from, no assistance from the builders in getting the house finished. The same is true for the MANY high-rises in town. It makes it easier for me because I don't have to make selections while making sure there is enough tile, lighting etc to fill 20 houses. This is for sure a learning experience:)

The Clubhouse. Also seen here.

The model. Notice the 1 car garage, it's a different lifestyle in China.

Phase I.

Phase II.

View from the there is still a LONG ways to go.

Admittedly I'm disapointed in the stage the houses are in. I expected them to be MUCH further along. The original schedule was to have the neighborhood opening the first week of April. Obviously that won't be happening. So I'll be here for another approximately 20 days, then I'll be back again. Whewwww. Today they were talking about how well I eat with chopsticks & how well I have adapted to living in the country. That's a pretty good compliment. I can't wait to get home. Luckily the hotel has HBO (have you guys seen Treme?? it's about post Katrina New Orleans, it's SO good) & the Discovery Channel in English, I've been watching a lot of movies & learning all sorts of weird things.

Thanks for reading!