positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net
isolated objects in a sea of anti-space
Multiple housing projects throughout the majority of China are required to face south. All apartments must gain a minimum of two hours of sunlight on the winter solstice – which is a sound environmental principle. However, this invariably results in a series of repetitive buildings isolated within an ill-defined open space left over after the placement of these massive buildings, which are themselves parts of a massive scaled developments which leaves open space belonging to both no one and everyone at the same time – a sea of anti-space. Few if any residents feel any sense of ownership and there is no freedom to develop the open space into more personal and inter-personal places.
positive space and human scale
This project provides variety and randomness within the regularity of an arrangement of small street blocks. BAU have developed a typology that has at its core, a smaller module consisting of a pair of six-level apartment buildings with a garden-court in between. This module breaks down the scale of this giant residential community and enables the various modules to differentiate their formal, programmatic and social characteristics. This provides further opportunity to create a sense of place and human scaled communities. As the project proceeds new building designs can be added to create a true diversity that fits the rapidly evolving lifestyles of the Shanghai population.
Attention to detail in the interface between private space and public space is essential in creating place and assisting in the formation of community. Unlike the traditional approach, the garden-courts typology provides a much greater opportunity for this to be explored.
Apartments at courtyard level are given a private-court with direct access to the larger garden court. Building entrances on mid and hi-rise buildings are given shelter, seating and a spatial expression to the smaller groups of apartments who share the entry, stairwell and lift. Importantly, there is also a back door to the lobbies; community is not attractive to everyone.
a variety of networks with community facilities
Spaces for larger scales of community interaction are also provided. An urban pedestrian network includes a shopping centre, a community recreation club, and a green landscape network, which starts along the waterways and reaches into the rest of the site.
a multi-dimensional project
This project asks: how do we create a sustainable community, not just: how do we house large numbers of people as profitably as possible? By integrating landscape, urbanism, and architecture and engaging in a multi-dimensional design response (not only pragmatics, but also issues of form, space, order, aesthetics, iconography, analogy, syntactics, economics, the social, and the cultural) a rich and complex community emerges.