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Affordable housing in rural China promotes communal living

by on Apr 16, 2018 in Architecture , Top Story
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Chinese firm gad has designed contemporary affordable housing for relocalized farmers in rural Hangzhou, China

This project was created with the aim to provide 15,300 square meters of affordable housing in rural China for 50 households in Dongziguan Village, in the Hangzhou district. The current living environment in this large part of rural China has not received much attention and is in desperate for amelioration, says the firm. 

Traditional Chinese building style emphasises group settlement, unlike western architecture which is more commonly centred around a single building. This project seeks to organise the form of the buildings in the style of a courtyard, a traditional style within the area. Every six houses surround a central courtyard as a place for communal living, forming the basis for collective living. 

The local tradition of collective living was upheld by gad in the designing of this affordable housing in rural China Photo: Yao Li

The local tradition of collective living was upheld by gad in the designing of this affordable housing in rural China
Photo: Yao Li

Compared with the previous alignment layout, the land saving, the level of courtyard space and the privacy have been significantly improved. From units to cluster and clusters to village, this kind of growth form is consistent with the group generation form of traditional ancient Chinese architecture, and also provides strong operability and possibility for the future promotion.

The buildings are designed in a local style  language with detailed considerations of the roof. The traditional dual-slope roof is developed into continuous slope roof asymmetrically, and matching the roofing lines for different clusters.

Dark grey top and white walls, forming a strong contrast in the tone and composition Photo: gad

Particular attention was given to the roofs of the project
Photo: gad

There is a subtle contrast between the independence of the unit volume and the continuity of the roof of the cluster, where the diversity and unity coexist. Dark grey top and white walls, forming a strong contrast in the tone and composition. Wooden panels have been used for mediating the traditional bricks and the contemporary glass.

The design for construction explores the best usage of the brick, steel and glass to ensure the best thermal and ventilation performance. The brick wall is equipped with waterproof coating and hollow glass and the solid wall varies at the place of stairs with staggered pattern. The roof cantilever out aesthetically reminds the vernacular architectural style in Hangzhou, functionally as part of the shelter.

Contemporary affordable housing in rural China

Contemporary affordable housing in rural China promotes collective living
Photo: Yao Li

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