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Songhua Lake Pavilion by META-Project

Designed by Beijing-based META-Project, this mountainside structure looks like a villain’s secluded lair in a James Bond film. Its purpose in reality, however, is a lot less foreboding.

Peering over the icy Songhua Lake from a distance, the monolithic building is an open ski pavilion, offering a little respite from the Chinese slopes to skiers visiting the nearby resort.

Positioned at the top of a steep slope and the edge of a dense forest, the pavilion is totally submerged in the natural environment and its dramatic elements: overwhelming white snow in winter, and lush woodlands in warmer months.