current projects

Beijing Hui Long Guan

Shenzhen Wonderland

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past projects

Star Garden Site Design

Beijing 12 x 12

Beijing Star Garden Initial

Beijing Star Garden Final


Shenzhen - Vanke Developer - Wonderland Phase IV

Site Considerations

This proposal provides a number of strategies for reducing energy consumption. Like many of the buildings in the master plan, our buildings are oriented to provide high levels of north-south exposure to maximize shading concerns. This orientation increases the amount of solar gain in the winter, and the high sun angle in the summer requires only slight overhangs to counteract the hot summer sun. Along the east and west axis, the edges are perforated, so as to allow for natural airflow ventilation from the east and to decrease exposure from the intense afternoon sun from the west. Despite the north-south orientation, we have also allowed for some east-west exposure by staggering individual units, affording instances of localized shading and cross-ventilation. The second major effort of the proposal seeks to address issues of sustainability at the urban scale. In an age of increasing population and decreasing lot sizes, it is important to address how a housing project will responsibly meet urban demands. Urbanistically, we propose to create lower buildings at a higher density. One notable exception is the northern edge that requires taller buildings to provide a barrier against noise pollution from the trains. With a larger ground floor footprint and an increased building surface area through the staggering effect, exposure to the outdoors for each unit is increased. A central goal is to increase opportunities for interaction with natural exterior conditions. This relationship is mediated through the implementation of small, intimate courtyards. We believe such spaces will provide more meaningful individual experiences and personal interactions than the singular large courtyard prevalent in the existing plans.

Architectural Form

The goal has been to create a unique environment appropriate to a diverse community. This is achieved by juxtaposing apartments of different sizes and qualities within the same apartment building. The creation of dwellings is based on an estimated daily spatial usage. This strategy serves to promote a satisfactory balance of factors such as privacy and comfort, thus minimizing the need for restoration or modification. With respect to sustainable design issues, specific attention has been paid to directional differences within the building composition. The East Side, though sometimes hot, exploits the primary natural airflow. The South and North sides are more interchangeable with respect to natural ventilation issues. Also of special consideration has been the relationship between courtyard and non-courtyard sides of the buildings where a coupling of unit pairs fosters a sense of both a front and backyard.


The design strategy incorporates numerous technologies including natural ventilation at the local level and shading using fins, overhangs, and deep balconies. Also of importance is the reduction of noise pollution on the site. Statistically the number of trains will not cause much discomfort unless they run primarily at night. Minimizing the exposed areas was an important issue and has resulted in a continuous tall building on the northern edge serving to block noise from the rest of the site. This strategy is validated because sound treatment is expensive and the exposed surfaces should therefore be treated (see page 6). In addition, we intend to use solar heat collectors on the housing units of Wonderland Phase IV. These will help to save costs associated with heating water for kitchen, shower, and laundry usage.

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