Terraced-City: Plot A3, Vanke Design Commune, Liuxiandong, Shenzhen

Project Location: Liuxiandong, Shenzhen                                                   Building Area: 3200sqm    

Design Period: 2014—2017                           Status: Built                            Category: Experimental

The design of Plot A3 should, first of all, follow the acknowledged rules set for the design of building clusters by the urban design teams, i.e., the requirements of urban fabric, park earth cover and maximum building height; under such circumstances, how could each team bring out its own strengths? Besides, with height difference between ground level of north and south plots, and the challenges of underground spaces including ventilation, daylighting and fire protection etc., how could a place for work and interaction be created for creative people? There were multiple challenges to overcome in design.

The design was inspired by the “staircases” by Escher and the courtyard in architect Luis Barragan’s huose. By breaking up the whole into parts, utilizing existing height difference and following the principle of maximized spatial density, the architectural concept featuring shoulder-to-shoulder yet mutually independent “seven sisters” of courtyards was generated.

Due to height limit, most building spaces are below ground level. In order to improve ventilation and daylighting, independent courtyard was adopted as architectural prototype, each consisting of three elements, i.e., two floors of spaces/stairs/garden. Despite these common elements, there are also varied ways of alternation and re-assembly, and different urban design locations and neighboring relations. As a result, these courtyards, each with its own features, are mutually interactive yet independent. They can be either separated or combined; although being placed below grade, they also enjoy generous view and pleasant ventilation and landscape just like those at grade.

The staggered labyrinth routes also enable a special experience in this ordinary place.