Luckily my group and I exchanged all of our files after the midterm review, so when my hard drive died, I still had a copy of most (not all but most) of my work for the semester. There was a quite a large jury present for our review including our five professors (some constant and some visiting): Zhang Yue (Tsinghua), Zou Tao (Tsinghua), Zhang Lingyun (Herzog + Partner), George Kunihiro (Hong Kong University), and Odilo Schoch (ETH Zürich). There were also a few guest critics from within Tsinghua including former Roger Williams professor Ron Henderson. Somehow with only five group presentations, the review still lasted a little over 5 hours. As has been the case for most of the semester, we gave our presentations via Powerpoint on a large projector screen within our studio space. This is a little bit different from what we are used to. Back at Roger Williams, and most of the educational experiences I have had up to this point, there is more of a focus on physical panel layout presentations than digital Powerpoint presentations, but both are effective in their own way.
The requirements for the review included a master plan of the entire proposed Ertong Housing Development, in addition to a more focused look at one of the four zones (A, B, C, or D) within the site boundaries. The requirements for the smaller section included a physical model, process work, site plan, ground floor plans of any building within your chosen area, site sections, and perspectives. Our group decided to focus on “Site B,” because within our scheme, there was a nice mix of different building uses in this particular section. Within our master plan, this area included small office buildings, restaurants, one of our two “urban cores” or public gathering spaces, green spaces, and residential apartments utilizing both new and existing structures.
Here are a few pictures from our class the Thursday before our review. You can tell that we still had a few days of working time left because there are a lot of smiles on everyone’s face and not a lot of stress showing yet. Pictures shown on Monday morning would not have been so pleasant.
Summer starting to build our Site B model
Elton using the foam cutter for his groups model
Diana and Jorge hard at work
Group 2 (Kitty, Stephanie, and Scott)
Group 3 (Jasmin, Michelle, and Juliana)
Group 4 (Irwan and Jason) and Professor Zou Tao
Juliana, Nacho, Jorge, and Professor George Kunihiro
Our Group - Everyone is ready to celebrate after some long days
Here are a view images from our project. The layout, planning, and formal design was mostly influenced by the chinese building code requirement, that each residential unit must receive two hours of sunlight everyday. This restricts your design choices forcing you do either narrow single loaded, North-South oriented buildings or double loaded East-West oriented buildings. North-South oriented buildings are set up well to provide natural heating during the harsh chinese winter so we tried to orient many of our building to fit this concept. The building code requirement made it very difficult to achieve to desired occupancy/density that the professors set as a target at the beginning of the semester, as you usually had single loaded corridors to ensure the proper daylighting. The chinese building code also changes significantly once a building is greater than nine stories, so we were not allowed to build any new structures higher than that.
New Residential Development - Section cut at Noon on the Winter solstice
One of our main strategies was to use the bottom two floors as non-residential spaces (commercial, retail, parking, public use). This way when designing for the worst case scenario of the winter solstice at noon midday (when the sun is at its lowest angle – approximately 26 degrees in Beijing), you only have to satisfy seven floors of the daylighting requirement as opposed to nine because this only applies to residential spaces. We also found if you shift each floor to the South just slightly, you can increase the amount of sunlight getting over the top of your building, allowing you to place your new building closer, and thus maximizing your density. We are not quite sure how this would work out structurally at this point, but as a concept it helped get our potential residents number in the right area.
Section Cut thru Existing Residential Structure, Commercial Space, and Urban Hub
Perspective from the New Residential Structure looking at the Urban Hub
Perspective from an Existing Hospital that we converted into a Social building where local residents can find and/or post job opportunities and training
Ground Floor Retail between the new Residential Structures leading to the pedestrian bridge and the urban hub
At the Southeast corner of Site B, looking at small offices buildings and restaurants
For the last few weeks of the semester, our task moving forward will be to select one of the buildings within our focus site, and further design the building according to green strategies we have discussed and researched. Professor Herzog will be arriving on May 16th, and we will have a quick presentation to show him our urban planning concept in addition to a quick review of our progress on our individual business.