Duan Wu Community / ZAOZUO ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

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Duan Wu Community / ZAOZUO ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

Waterfront area.  Image © Yilong ZhaoNear water buildings.  Image © Yilong ZhaoLarge group of houses.  Image © Yilong ZhaoCurtilage path.  Image © Yilong Zhao+ 52

Waterfront area.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Waterfront area. Image © Yilong Zhao

Text description provided by the architects. This project serves as a community for relocated suburban residents, which includes 400 households from six nearby villages. Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2021, as villagers moved in and various small businesses began to flourish, a sense of community spontaneously formed.

Near water buildings.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Near water buildings. Image © Yilong Zhao

Living under the roof: yesterday and today. The layout of most local villages is scattered and uneven, which lacks consistency and interaction between neighborhoods. While we intend to keep the necessary separation to respect the privacy of residents, we also try to emulate social patterns of living through place-making, to revive the ever-diminishing sense of community at home. modern era. Our mission to emulate such social interaction stems from the study of a type of historical architecture – “Northern Hunan Big House”, which promotes such a lifestyle.

aerial view of the original site.  Image courtesy of ZAOZUO ARCHITECTURE STUDIO
aerial view of the original site. Image courtesy of ZAOZUO ARCHITECTURE STUDIO
Big house roof.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Big house roof. Image © Yilong Zhao

To imitate an ancient lifestyle. As a community for large families, a clear organizational logic is created using a hierarchy of axes and courses. The roofs are always interconnected to provide protection and shade. We have tried to break down this organization through a linear process: understanding the axes – studying the figure-ground – separating the households – de-ritualizing, and finally, sorting. Accordingly, six core components are identified to form a variety of combinations that enable motorized circulation at the perimeter while keeping the yards at their core.

A yard that fluctuates with the terrain.  Image © Yilong Zhao
A yard that fluctuates with the terrain. Image © Yilong Zhao
Roof connection.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Roof connection. Image © Yilong Zhao

The Interconnected. As the houses are separated to respect the privacy needs of the residents, the interconnectivity of the roofs is an important factor in our design philosophy, as it defines the unique way of life of the inhabitants throughout history. We use steel and wood to recreate and enhance such structures, hoping to foster interactions between neighbors.

The attic space.  Image © Yilong Zhao
The attic space. Image © Yilong Zhao
Open courtyard.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Open courtyard. Image © Yilong Zhao

Epilogue: The best of both worlds. During the photo shoot, we met an elderly person who had a lot of fun with his neighbors. He told us that he really liked living in a house separated from the others. We are happy to see that the project is a successful manifestation of our ethos – a tightly knit community that promotes social connectedness and respects personal space at the same time.

Night view of the village.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Night view of the village. Image © Yilong Zhao
Night view of the village.  Image © Yilong Zhao
Night view of the village. Image © Yilong Zhao



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