The passing of celebrated
Kerry Hill was born in Perth in 1943, where he trained as an architect. He left his hometown in 1971 after securing a job in Hong Kong. He subsequently lived in Bali, then Jakarta, and in 1979 he moved to Singapore where he set up Kerry Hill Architects on the back of securing a commission from the hotelier Adrian Zecha. Zecha went on to found
In honour of Kerry Hill’s phenomenal contribution to the world of architecture, today we take a closer look at one of his most recent projects, the extraordinary
Set amidst a flourishing forest of ancient 1,000 years old camphor trees, Amanyangyun is a picturesque retreat embodying the essence of Chinese spirituality, introspection and beauty. At its heart lie twenty-six re-mastered Ming and Qing Dynasty houses which, along with the trees, have been carefully moved brick-by-brick from the legendary region of Fuzhou in Jiangxi Province.
The story of uprooted trees and relocated buildings goes back to 2002 when the Chinese government began working on a dam in Jiangxi. With the construction of the dam, the local forests of camphor trees and the ancient buildings were doing to be lost.
Ma Dadong, a 28-year-old businessman who made a massive fortune in real estate, returned home from Shanghai around this time to visit his parents in Jiangxi. Ma Dadong was distressed about the prospect of what was to become of the local area, so he struck a deal with the government to remove 10,000 of the trees and 50 Ming & Qing Dynasty village buildings that would otherwise vanish underwater. These were uprooted, disassembled and transported some 700km to Shanghai’s outskirts. Mr Ma was unsure what he would do with his unusual purchases, but what he did know what that he did not want them disappearing beneath an immense artificial lake.
In 2005, he enlisted a team of specialists to reassemble one of the old houses, piece by piece. Services like electricity, plumbing and underfloor heating were installed beneath the internal