iang Yun towers

CN Wenjiang

A temperate climate with frequent presence of fog, and the desire to integrate the apartments into their park setting provoked the proposal of a highly pervious fçade with large openings to maximise the capitalisation of natural light and ventilation, and to surround the apartments by gardened decks.
A personal garden in the sky [+-]
A garden in the park.

The fact that the towers are located in a huge public park means that, even though it’s surrounded by greenery, it doesn’t have that much privacy. Creating a cantilevered personal garden for each apartment protects the views and highlights the connection with nature.

Beautiful yet affordable [+-]
Using a traditional structure.

In spite of its spectacular and recognizable shape, the structure is kept really simple (as can be seen on the plans) and therefore inexpensive, compared to what it looks like.

Façades. 16 units are scattered among the landscape.
As well as integrating the building into its park environment with a continuous green balcony, the inhabitants can enjoy their own garden and, even on a foggy day with little visibility, enjoy an exterior garden view.

To maintain a large proportion of aperture in the outer façade the overhead structure is tapered off in a rounded form, therefore maximising the entry of light and relieving the visual force of a large overhead cantilever. The resulting form of the floor planes, irregularly curving in plan and rounded in section, evoke a cloud form, pertinent in their vertical stacking and in the environment of often foggy skies. The metaphor led us to name the tower Xiàng Yún, meaning the cloud of God in Chinese, as the Gods travelled on clouds. This also is associated with the connotation of luck, important in the Chinese philosophy, as the cloud of luck, as it's popularly believed that the Gods bring luck.

The buildings are zero-carbon, low maintenance low energy consumption and of sustainable architectural + social design. Local materials and resources would be used as a priori in the construction.
Wenjiang, a district of the Chengdu Metropolis in central China, was an industrial city of 300,000 people. As part of China's recent modernisation a master plan for the district decentralised industry, and in the residual space various redevelopment plans were instigated. The projected tower is situated on a flat, 10ha, central city site stretching along the east bank of the Jiang'an River, and is planned as a large central park with multiple apartment towers of two distinct types to achieve high population density within pleasant public surroundings. Of the Xiàng Yún tower there are 16 examples.

Two higher quality apartments are located per floor, separated by a deck punctuated by holes to permit the filtering of light and interconnection of floors thought which trees can grow, an open stair and a generous light well. The two apartments are surrounded by a continuous balcony, curved and irregular in form as a counterpoint to the rectilinear apartments. The balcony is double to create a raised garden of varying width with a depth of 1.1m to permit the cultivation of decently sized plants. There are two types of differing balcony plans, alternately superimposed producing a more irregular and organic appearance to the building.

Floorplan. Place your mouse over the image to see the simplified version.

The 30-storey tower has 28 residential stories, from the second floor up, capped by a shared roof garden. The ground and first floors also contain common spaces for the inhabitants, including a ramp to accede the underground car park. As each apartment occupies one side of the floor, the plans are long, allowing the location of all rooms towards the exterior where there are better views, privacy and greater light. Furthermore they can all open out onto the deck, making the deck and garden an extension of the interior. The bathrooms are located to the inside of the plan, as are the service ducts and lifts. The lifts connect directly into the central hall of each apartment. The living areas are located in the southern end to benefit from the exposure to the sun.

The west house has a constructed gross area of 272m². It has 3 large bedrooms each with its own bathroom, and a fourth bathroom for guests. The kitchen is large with a breakfast or snack bar, while the adjacent living and dining area covers 100m² and opens out onto the balcony on three sides.

The east house has a constructed gross area of 264m². It has 4 large bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a study or second living area. The combined kitchen, dining and living area covers 94m².
The tower has a constructed gross total area of 33,244m², above ground, with an additional area of underground parking. The apartments in tower a1.1 each have a gross floor area of 149m², with 111m² of net utilisable interior area, while the apartments in a1.2 have a 165m² gross area, or 116m² of net interior utilisable area. The clear interior floor to suspended ceiling height is 3m in both versions.

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