City within a City
The site is an Urban Village in Shenzhen, a settlement that used to be an indigenous village and is going through its own urbanization, alongside that of Shenzhen. It is an urbanization process initiated by the villagers without planners and architects.
The rapid expansion and densification of city creates a typical Shenzhen phenomenon where the peripheries of the Urban Villages are walled off by highrise towers.
A cluster of 35 handshake towers in this village is subject to a city make-over plan. The initial design brief was to upgrade the facades to make the cluster less of an eyesore.
But there are so many interesting scenarios thinkable for the future of those blocks; a façade make-over is the last thing they deserve.
We came up with an alternative proposal to fundamentally change the negative image of the handshake towers into a positive message.
Strategy & Program
-No façade make-over, create a housing community
-Connect rather than to treat the 35 towers as isolated upgrades
-Ground floor: shops to activate the alleys
-Upper floors: affordable housing
Maze of Alleys
-Bring hierarchy to the disorienting maze of 16 alleys in-between the towers, from public to semi public to private
-Towers are inter-connected by a network of sky-corridors + 7 elevators
-Communal spaces serving 504 households, 900 tenants
Color coding as way-finding system
-The 35 towers are divided into 7 circulation clusters, each color- coded for a clear way-finding.
- Futian District Government, Shenzhen
- Shum Yip Land Investment LTD.
- ShuiWei Village Holding Company
- DouShi Yuan Architecture & Engineering