Youth Commune of Tangxia

Designed by: O-office Architects
For client: Vanke Guangzhou Floor area: 4878.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Co-Living Complex of the Year

04 Common Hallway On Teh Ground Floor As The Bottom Layer Of The Sandwich Structure © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

Common hallway on the ground floor as the bottom layer of the Sandwich structure.

About the Project

The rapid expansion of Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, has squeezed the former rural villages into a special densified urban condition, which is normally called “urban villages”. The autonomically development led to a spectacular congregation of “hand-shake” buildings. Tangxia, where the Youth Commune locates, is the largest of this type in Guangzhou.

The basic idea on restoration project of the 7-story handshake building is a vertically "sandwich" community: the "bottom" and "top" of the original building transformed to the common domains of new community, while the middle 5 levels remained to their original function, apartment units. The architect chose to enclose the poorly lit and ventilated first and the second levels into an indoor common area protected and highlighted from the surrounding dark and humid environment, while the roof, a totally open-air and lit outdoor space, was made into another important area for common life and social interaction. The re-construction consists to the principal of the sandwich division method. Considering the difficulty in delivery of building materials, the architect designed a new linear masonry structure to transformation of the exterior wall that enclosing the bottom and top common area. The new masonry wall is stacked with altered #-shape concrete grass brick, which creates a unique façade texture that reflects the real construction method.

What’s unique about it

Youth Commune of Tangxia (YCT) is one of our recent projects that tend to explore new urban and architectural strategies and forms of collective work/live spaces in the rapid developing Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the nowadays most populated metropolitan area globally. Among all these projects, YCT is no doubt the most challenging one, due to its very low budget and tight development schedule.

Our spatial solution to this harsh task was, or had to be, experimental. We did not follow the typical design strategy of urban gentrification for post-industrial site of this type; instead, we attempted to re-associated the current reconvention action with the existing spatial and social structures, improving local living conditions and by diversification in building typologies to accommodate various lifestyles. This YCT project showcases a perfect alternative example against the prevalent urban reconstruction attitude, which normally consider a total demolition over the urban village. This architectural experiment indicates a new spatial/social paradigm for the second-round urbanization of PRD cities. Tabula rasa is no longer necessary for new spatial production, like the previous wave of urbanization. Urban regeneration in this sense is not only of physicality, but also of sociology. Young people re-discover their home in the previous discarded place. The urban village no longer find itself an isolated island, but an integral part of the future city.

01 The Building Located In The Extremely Dense Urban Texture © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

The building located in the extremely dense urban texture.

02 Sectional Axonometric Of The Youth Commune In The Urban Village

Sectional axonometric of the youth commune in the urban village.

03 The Entrance Hidden In The Urban Village Context © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

The entrance hidden in the urban village context.

05 Translucent Stell Bridges Linking Between The Two Building Wings In The Bottom Common Space © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

Translucent steel bridges linking between the two building wings in the bottom common space.

06 Shortterm Hostel Room On The 1St Floor © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

Shortterm hostel room on the 1st floor.

07 The Front Facade Of The Youth Commune Within The High Density Neighbourhood © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

The front facade of the youth commune within the high-density neighbourhood.

08 The Living Gap Between Two Building Wings © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

The living gap between two building wings.

09 Young Residence Partying In The Ground Common Space © Liky Photos
© Liky Photos

Young residence partying in the ground common space.

10 Shape Masonry Facade Detail

#-shape masonry Facade detail.

Location of project:
O-office Architects

Luo Qiyao

Jing Lue M.E. Ltd.

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