A “hillside village” has appeared in Beverly Hills, California. Named Gardenhouse, the greenery-covered project is the latest in a long line of remarkable works by Chinese firm MAD Architects and is designed to offer residents a pleasant escape from the bustle of city life.

First unveiled back in 2015, Gardenhouse was created in collaboration with Gruen Associates and Rottet Studio, and is located at 8600 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. It measures 4,460 sq m (48,000 sq ft) and consists of a large base hosting retail space, a gym and homes, with a cluster of homes on top of it. The base is covered with low-maintenance drought-resistant plants and vines, and is one of the USA’s largest green walls, according to MAD.

“Residents of ‘Gardenhouse’ are welcomed via a ground-floor entrance along Stanley Drive, off Wilshire Boulevard,” says MAD. “The entrance adopts the atmosphere of a cave digging into the hillside; a dim, surreal environment where residents are led on a journey through a ‘fairyland’ of light, shadow, and the sound of water.

Further ahead, the softness of the cave meets a bright conclusion, with natural light flooding through a connected water feature from the courtyard patio above. Standing beneath this threshold, visitors marvel at a framed view of sun, sky, landscape, and water: a living painting removing people from the reality of the city.