The design would like to demonstrate how to re-invent the historical courtyard typology for contemporary urban conditions, particularly when density and building height has to be increased. By looking into three-dimensional systems for multi-leveled courtyard spaces, the studio intend to provide us a platform of imagination toward an urban courtyardism for our contemporary cities facing challenges of density, sustainability and community reintegration. When density and height increases, courtyard spaces not only evolve from horizontal in plan to vertical in section, and also transform from private to semi-public or public spaces. They can also potentially activate various in-between courtyard spaces which create new climatic zones facilitating natural lighting and ventilation. While different hierarchies of layered courtyard spaces are generated for new urban conditions, critical issues of each condition are identified and reviewed: dimension, scale, lighting, ventilation, spatial quality and daily lives. While different modes of fabrication for each condition are proposed, mappings are also developed to look into their systems of assemblage: division, access, movement, datum strategy, built fabric and landscape fabric, as well as the urban infrastructure that sustain these systems. Context: The living characteristics of the Shenzhen villagers are divided into 3 levels. In “individual” level, each family have their own livestock and firewood, and they also make preserved meat. In “community” level, although their housings are not splendor, they are very welcome to guests and like to participate into communal activities. In “urban” level, their houses are packed together, but they will leave a large central open space for Fung Shui purpose and common area. In conclusion, the village families are very self-sufficient, but they also like to have social activities with other villagers. We proposed two design prototype, which in form, looks rather different, but both of them are embedded with a rich design philosophy. It demonstrates the ideology and methodology behind, by unfold the structure and retrieve the underlying continuous “street like” “JIN” experience - court-yard > transitional space > courtyard > transitional space ... to encourage activity that used to be happened on the ground level urban fabric to reform in a high-rise residential tower.
Adrian Yee Cheung LO, Ray Jiaheng ZHANG, Patricia Tung Yan NG are Master of Architecture Graduate from the University of Hong Kong.