Anaya North Shore, the birth of a knowledge-based community

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the pioneers of modernist architecture have envisioned a variety of community life samples that eliminate the traditional notion of neighborhoods and streets – a network of three-dimensional intersecting roads, public spaces that become the foundation of daily life, ample open-air spaces for activities, and independent and interactive residential layouts. These concepts were intended to put the future community on the track of convenient, accessible and efficient “essential living”. There was also an emergence of strong futurism and its conception of new buildings, new neighborhoods, and new cities, with the aim of observing the human being as a subject and reflecting the relationship between different elements and the human being in life. The basic units of life are organized into mobile communities of different scales and sizes, and the nomadic lifestyle is seen as a mode of life for the future society, adapting to different environments and resources and renewing and deploying itself. Based on the combination of modular thinking and nomadic culture, the concept of future communities seeks to break the pursuit of “permanence” in favor of patterns and celebrations that constitute “mobility.”

Today, we want architecture to relocate the monumentality that is permanent on the ground to a mobile scene of cultural content; we want to transform the need for information into the acquisition of knowledge and experience, and shift our attention from the flood of virtual information to the on-the-ground reality provided by physical space. All of these new needs and shifts are opportunities for us to rethink and build a small-scale knowledge-based community. Taking this as a starting point, lifestyle brand Anaya, together with the design industry chain platform Viva Friendship, and China’s leading content platform Lifelike Hwaseng, began a five-year exploration, derivation and practice, which has led to today’s Anaya Friendship Bay.
The design, construction and operation of Anaya Friendship Bay can be characterized by a unique phrase – design with source, responsible construction and sustainable operation. Originality is based on a set of logical foundations of “mobility”; Responsibility is based on the repeated refinement of living scenarios, as well as the rigorous use of building materials and technology; and Sustainability is based on a close and favorable interaction between people, the community, and the future. Our understanding of “visionary living” is effectively conveyed to every resident and visitor of Friendship Bay, and through them, to more people, ultimately realizing a consensus that life should be lived with vision.

1. From content community to physical community
Founded 8 years ago, Lifelike Hwaseng continues to fight against the hollowing out of people’s daily lives by the Internet and the takeover of people’s understanding system by social media, and puts forward the concept of “wisdom acquisition”, which realizes the flow of wisdom by means of “professional” and “readable” content, thus distinguishing itself from a large amount of information packaged as knowledge. The concept of “Wisdom Acquisition” has been proposed to realize the flow of wisdom through “professional” and “readable” content, which distinguishes it from a large amount of information packaged as knowledge. The media under Lifelife’s umbrella, while continuing to work vertically, emphasize “cross-disciplinary” linkages to select insightful and inspiring content for readers, and practice “visionary” social responsibility.
Relying on its vivid cultural influence and unique platform context, the mission of Viva Friendship is to realize the content community as a physical community. Since its inception, Viva Friendship has been focusing on and exploring physical community life forms based on scenarios and content, which no other media company has ever attempted. From the creation and operation of scenarios for residences, hotels, bookstores, stores, restaurants, and cultural systems, to all the components of a “knowledge-based community” – all are based on excellent content layout and good human interaction. Here, interdisciplinarity, specialization, and readability are converted into the physical entity of the community to the greatest extent possible.
Meanwhile, after 10 years of construction, the Qinhuangdao-Anaya community has become an explorer of ideal community life based on overall planning, leveraging the practice of contemporary independent architectural design forces and diversified art and cultural activities, coupled with meticulous property services.In early 2019, Friendship Bay initiated the design of its first building, and in September 2020, the first volume bookstore under the banner of Long Live Friendship landed Qinhuangdao Anaya Art Center, the cooperation between the two sides further deepened, and the seeds of Friendship Bay grew more quietly here.
Together with Anaya, Viva Friendship is responsible for the community planning, design planning, business planning and construction of the site of Friendship Bay, and is also responsible for the property management, hotel management, value-added services, brand management, content operation and even investment promotion, architectural and interior design, as well as selection of artists and home designers to be stationed in Friendship Bay, which will help to explore the form of space and the importance of space to personal and life. In a more comprehensive and long-lasting way, we are practicing the exploration of the shape of space, and the role and influence of space on personal and public life.
Located on the north shore of Anaya in the Beidaihe New District of Qinhuangdao City, Youyi Bay occupies a total area of 13,232 square meters, and was designed by Gann Architecture in collaboration with a number of academic and independent architectural firms and design studios. Compared to Anaya’s destination-oriented resource allocation, Friendship Bay is a relatively astringent community in terms of location and planning, hoping not only that everyone can live an orderly and well-managed daily life here, but also that it can provide a more multi-dimensional public life through diversified operations and a mix of functional overlays. The community planning of Youyi Bay did not happen overnight. Starting from a single building, through gradual curation and development, it eventually ended up five years later with three landmark building volumes – the Volume Apartment, mi casa su casa Friendship House Club Hotel and Jijiu Lounge – that Together they enclose a knowledge-based community. It consists of a condominium that emphasizes a sense of order, a club hotel that includes a series of complex cultural spaces, an enclosed commercial corridor, and a scenic waterfront plaza.

The architectural language of Anaya Friendship Bay has always been centered on originality and responsibility, and has been repeatedly refined in design, material selection and construction techniques. From the very beginning of its design, Friendship Bay tries its best to consider all the future story scenes and action contents, so that the “fluid” scenes and contents become the norm of daily life; ultimately, it becomes a carrier from the daily life but higher than the daily life, and establishes a ” knowledge-based” community archetype with a special charm and cultural core. knowledge-based” community prototype with a special flavor and cultural core.
With the official unveiling of Friendship Bay in July 2023, its design language system has also been fully presented. In the ecology of Anaya’s diverse scenarios, Friendship Bay takes material, knowledge and friendship as the growth spectrum of the community, with the intention of building a “visionary life” with creativity and a sense of responsibility at the present time.

2. Control of building layout
The concept of community was first proposed by the German sociologist Tennessee. Based on common values, or rational choices, interests, and contracts, people form a living community with territoriality, i.e. community. Its specific connotation and form have also changed with the times. In the early days, people lived together because of their bloodlines, and the family was the basic unit of the community – it was close, closed, and hierarchical. After the Industrial Revolution, the traditional agricultural society began to transform into a modern industrial society, and commercial housing gradually replaced social housing and private homes as an important part of the urban living space.
To this day, however, there is a growing realization that the fundamentalist obsession with modernism, while preserving the value of commercial housing, has sacrificed neighborhood and locality. In a way, it has contributed to the disappearance of what social anthropology professor Xiang Biao calls “the neighborhood. People either only care about themselves or talk about grandiose propositions in a hollow way, but are blind to the concrete social relationships around them.
How to shape a vibrant, layered community space? Many European cities already provide good models. In Berlin and Venice, for example, the city is populated by residential communities of appropriate scale, where people can reach all corners of the neighborhood and the neighboring station on foot, and where the internal courtyards surrounded by residences can be used for resting, and there are also cafes and small plazas on the street corners, so that the residents can build up their own daily lives within a relatively small spatial scale.
With this sense of problem and perspective, we hope to recreate a dynamic neighborhood relationship by rethinking the community and space, and to create the conditions for different lives from the commonplace. At the beginning of the project, Grotto Architecture chose to introduce the spatial pattern of “plaza clusters” to control the layout of the building. In some classic cases, plazas are usually human-scale, and the combination of two to three plazas within a walkable area creates a more vibrant plaza group, which is presented in Youyiwan as a hard-paved municipal plaza to hold events and gatherings, and a recreational plaza separated by a gateway that can be transformed into a bazaar on weekends, and a third plaza that is a continuation of the street-level dining in the outdoor area. The multi-layered spatial system responds to the possibilities of urban life.
The architects were initially involved in the project when the entire North Bank of Anaya was still in the planning stage, and the initial task was to design a large plaza and a large building with hotel apartments. In the second phase of the project, the idea of adjusting the initial plan and building volume was proposed, and eventually the one building was changed into two separate monolithic buildings, and then the two buildings, the hotel and the apartments, and their internal and external contours, respectively, were used to enclose three heterogeneous plazas for living. In an interview, Fan Beilei, the presiding architect of Grotto Architects, described her vision of the “plaza” life: “The square plaza in front of the hotel is the entrance to the town; the slightly longer scale plaza on the north side of the hotel is a leisure plaza, with light seating and landscaping plants; and the triangular-shaped plot of land behind the apartments is a small park. The triangular plot behind the apartments is a small park. Like clusters of squares in European cities, these three small plazas are separate and connected, providing different atmospheres.”
The building plan of the hotel and apartments are U-shaped and L-shaped respectively, enclosing their respective internal plazas. The former provides better light and views for the art and commercial spaces on the first and second floors of the hotel, while the space defined by the L-shaped volume of the condominiums is designed as a swimming pool, catering to the owner’s needs for daily exercise as well as for private events.
The scale of the main square enclosed by the buildings, the Friendship Bay Square, is also controlled within a walkable range, limited by three single buildings and one structure, with the heights of the buildings being three and four floors, respectively, in order to avoid a sense of oppression caused by the high volume of the building. The ground floor of the apartments and the first and second floors of the hotel accommodate a variety of functions such as retail, cultural exhibitions, etc., and serve as an interface to the plaza. The first floors of the two buildings are equipped with porches to form a transition between the buildings and the plaza, so that people can stay in a semi-outdoor space whether it is sunny or rainy, and shopkeepers can also swing out. The outwardly extending porches further enhance the sense of enclosure of the plaza and bring its scale closer to the people.

In addition, the building reshapes the contours of the original evacuation route on one side of the plaza, which was originally designed as a semi-open space, with streamlined zigzag lines outlining the sense of community enclosure. Subsequently, Viva Friendship and Volume Bookstore wished to transform the Jijiu Lounge into a multi-purpose space, and Chaos Programme completed the renovation design, which was inspired by the analogy of the stone blocks on the Anaya beach, and the final volume of the building is composed of two stacked and interlocking blocks. The Jigu Gallery, which houses the bookstore, coffee lounge, retail and other functions, adds to the sense of enclosure of the central plaza. As the other three sides of the plaza are surrounded by taller buildings, the Jijiu Corridor naturally serves as a visual exit from Friendship Bay towards the sea. Therefore, the design team decided to make it a low-profile building that blends into the surrounding environment, and to incorporate all the unsightly E&M structures and other features of this important visual outlet into the design, so as not to interfere with the views of the tourists and the surrounding residents.
As a result, the site of Friendship Bay was transformed from a large square into three building volumes plus three small squares, both inside and outside, front and back, forming different spatial systems corresponding to the different possibilities of community life in Friendship Bay.
At the stage of the complete choreography of the commercial plan, Viva Friendship added a new Chang Sheng grocery store located at the corner of the Volume Condominium and its neighboring Anaya IX residences. This is an architectural remodeling project created by Sò Studio. Originally a manned exit hidden at the corner of the plaza, it has been transformed to re-engage in the architectural dialog of Friendship Bay, and to add an architectural point of convergence for the crowds at Friendship Bay’s Tidal Plaza.

3. Architectural Spatial Reasoning Guided by “Knowledge-Based” Content
Due to the nature of land use, regulations, investment properties of commercial properties, and the maximization of developers’ interests, designers have little room for spatial innovation in residential units. In Youyi Bay, Gudan Architecture has the opportunity to explore new possibilities in residential design.
The initial design of the two main buildings of Friendship Bay was modeled on the ideal study rooms of 20th century writers, creating a residence with a sense of restraint and order. As the design developed and evolved, the hotel’s public area plan became more open, evolving from a bookstore to a multifaceted public space housing multiple cultural and design contents.

The Volume Apartments have a floor area of 5,492 square meters, with a square plan used as the basis for the apartment floor plan. In the design and construction of the apartments, Grotto Architecture’s design team took full advantage of the nature of Anaya’s commercial and residential land use, making a breakthrough by raising the height of the living room to 4.5 meters, accompanied by an oversized 8.4-meter face width, permitting sunlight to fully illuminate the interior and bring it closer to the outdoor landscape; the balcony continues the height and width of the living room to satisfy the desire to experience the outside; and the bedrooms have a conventional 3-meter floor height, which With a strong sense of wrapping, the 1.5 meter height difference allows for the possibility of multiple relationships between the living room and bedroom. The architects have designed three types of units: a large flat with no height difference between the bedroom and the living room; a leaping floor with a sunken living room; and a type with a diagonal angle between the living room and the bedroom. The different orientations also have their own advantages, with north-south oriented homes getting better lighting and east-west oriented homes having a direct view of the sea. The homogeneity of the layout was a key consideration for the team when designing the house, so that everyone can have what they need.

The apartment is divided into “two spans” in the direction of the opening, and then staggered in the direction of the depth. The corridor connecting the living room and bedroom has been widened from a single-function transportation space to a zone where people can stay, which is both an entrance hall and a side hall next to the living room, giving people a place to take a breather in the midst of lively gatherings. Each area can be immersed in the spacious experience brought about by the large width, but without interfering with each other. The core design concept of creating a hierarchy of spaces carries over from the community plan to the living spaces, allowing for flexibility in living. The result is the Volume Apartments, which combine the orderliness of German-speaking residential architecture with the relaxed atmosphere of Anaya’s coastal townhomes.

Mi casa su casa Friendship House Club Hotel, which means “your home is my home” in Spanish, is a small-scale hotel with 3796 square meters of floor space and 37 rooms, shaped by carefully selected materials and a sustainable approach. The appearance of the building reinforces the centripetal nature of the neighborhood, with a U-shaped volume with two corners, the end near the street rising and the end near the condominiums sinking, creating a directionality between the high and the low, while the high part is reminiscent of a lighthouse and a clock tower, and at the same time, as the highest point of the Friendship Bay, it has become a symbol of the area. From a distance, the hotel appears to be solid, with all the windows set back into the walls to minimize the reflection of the glass, creating a deep visual effect like a “cave”. The first floor façade is made of travertine, as if it were a natural stone base, giving the hotel a more solid sense of volume.
The interior design of the hotel was completed by Grotto Architecture, Tadashi and Viva Friendship. Unlike the traditional hotel room design of narrow width and long depth of the strip space, mi casa su casa Friendship House Club hotel room presents a square plan, with bookshelves, sofas, and carpets surrounding a spacious desk to form a relatively independent study area. The bed is instead set back, next to a subtle balcony.
During the construction process, the greatest challenges encountered by the architectural and construction teams were the presentation of the fair-faced concrete structure in the space and the development of the façade materials. Both the apartments and the hotel chose to control the atmosphere of the interior with the texture of the fair-faced concrete structure itself. The living room of the apartments has a bare ceiling of fair-faced concrete without beams, which extends to the outdoor balcony without a suspended ceiling, maximizing the height of the space for the residents. The hotel’s guest rooms have wood-grained concrete bare ceilings, anchored by green-veined marble floors and cherry wood to match the bare ceilings, which together anchor the rustic and elegant tone of the space. The hotel’s first and second floor lobbies have exposed wood-colored woodgrain concrete beams that create a warm, structured interior ambiance for the lobby. All of this implies the need for integrated design and close integration of the civil, MEP installation, finishes, and curtain walling during the construction phase.
Green terrazzo slabs with green ore as aggregate were chosen for the apartment facades, which can reflect different details at different distances, requiring repeated experimentation with the type of stone size and base color to create a rich facade texture through color matching. The hotel’s façade has a non-industrial, sedimentary-rock-like texture created by customized cement tiles and special mortar joints. The design and construction team used different scales of sample walls, and repeated tests and comparisons through different material ratios, to select the final program step by step.
Viva Friendship has strictly controlled the scale of the stores in the operation planning, bringing finer commercial planning and breaking the pattern of homogeneous fixed ground floor. The ground floor of the Volume Apartment is divided into seven independent spaces of different shapes, introducing a variety of businesses, such as culture, catering and retail, to satisfy daily life and spiritual needs, including the setting up of a pop-up dynamic space, which enhances the flexibility of the future cooperation of brand organizations, and is also pre-determined to bring continuous fresh content to the place. The hotel, which opens up to the plaza, has its own public attributes, with different zoning on the first floor corresponding to the various retail formats, and a gallery on the second floor organized around a central event area with a high ceiling.
In order to maintain the continuity of the retail gallery with the condominiums and the plaza, the architectural team of Viva La Amizade and Grange provided customizable elements for the stores from the very beginning of the condominiums’ design: the column network of the ground floor structure is set up to hold up the condominiums in their entirety, and the interior walls on the ground floor can be dismantled, and with the large display windows and interchangeable lining panels, these changeable parts are controlled to a certain dynamic scale. The integration of green terrazzo on the façade anchors the overall tone of the Volume Condominium. After the commercial stores have moved in, they can still be summarized in the whole without losing the effect of local individuality and richness of details.

Anaya Friendship Bay establishes a delicate spatial hierarchy, adheres to academics in content richness and intellectual density, and gathers a wide range of materialistic and surviving brands. Youyi Bay’s retail corridor and hotel commons are home to 10 Viva Youyi owned brands and 8 lifestyle and designer brands. We ask that the “knowledge-based” exploration not only be reflected in the brands owned by Youyiwan, but also in the contracted brands that are located in the area, with equal emphasis on the local knowledge of the inheritance system and material research and development. The experience of content production is flexibly transferred to the physical community to develop a set of community scene content system unique to Youyi Bay.
A more visionary knowledge-based community not only implies an orderly and well-managed daily life, but also emphasizes the provision of a more multi-dimensional public life through diversified operations and the superimposition of mixed functions. As the book “Architectural Anthropology – Exploring Living Space” repeatedly proves through a series of practical cases: the creation of scenes makes the visualized narrative life leave emotional imprints in the hearts of the occupants and viewers, and the dialogue between human beings and the living space is really opened. With five years of exploration and hard work, Friendship Bay has deduced a visionary community by combining rich and fluid scene content with a wise and long-lasting physical community.

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