The Golden Dream Bay in Qinhuangdao, China by Safdie Architects is a bold step towards the future of affordable housing


The Golden dream bay by Safdie architects is a bold step towards the future of affordable housing. The vast development which is located in Qinhuangdao, China, 200 miles east of Beijing,  on the coast of the Bohai sea features 2500 apartment units within over 450 000 sqm of space, of which over 5500 sqm is dedicated to retail amenities.


The design for the Phase I of Qinhuangdao Golden Dream Bay, a high-density beachfront residential community, utilizes a series of stacked vertical modules, creating a porous massing punctuated with terraces and gardens. Arranged in stepped patterns along the shore, the composition creates large urban windows, framing views and fostering a sense of openness.

The complex is organized around a beachfront boardwalk running north–south, and an east–west bazaarlike spine that connects abutting communities with the beach. The crisscrossing of these two community spines links the city with the waterfront and provides for daytime and nighttime activities throughout all seasons. This stands in contrast to typical high-density development patterns that tend to segregate the city from the water’s edge.

The project’s overall massing consists of individual 15-story slab buildings that connect and stack vertically in two tiers for a total height of 30 stories. The building blocks are staggered and join corner to corner between tiers, creating a mixture of units that offer a great variety of openness and views.

Many units feature gardens open to the sky, while other units have solariums, bay windows, or balconies. In addition, garden/pool areas top the parking deck and enliven the 15th and 30th community levels.

At level 15, between the tiers, a community thoroughfare links the building blocks and allows residents to traverse the entire complex surrounded by greenery and city and ocean views. Within this unconventional massing, the rational geometry allows for conventional construction and highly efficient service cores.

The advantages of the unique and efficient arrangement and the benefits it provides offer a model for future urban housing development at a similar density.



  • Architects: Safdie Architects
  • Location: Jin Meng Hai Wan, Qinhuangdao, China
  • Local Design Institute: China Shanghai Architectural Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd.
  • Client: Kerry Properties Limited
  • Area: 446 000 sqm
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Facade Consultant: Konstruct West Partners
  • Facade Design Institute: Zhe Jiang Zhong Nan Construction Group Co. Ltd.
  • Interior Designers: BC&A International Ltd., and Yasha
  • Landscape Design Architects: SWA Group
  • Landscape Design Institutes: Ager Group, and DQLand
  • Lighting Design Consultants: Lam Partners, and Brandston Partnership Inc.
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