New Youth Commune
New Youth Commune, a mixed youth community, located on the edge of Vanke Songhuahu Lake Resort and bordering natural villages, contains 800 people with the upper space for Vanke staff, the middle rented to the self-employed town people and the ground engaged with holiday camping students and further open to surrounding villagers and temporally stationed builders.
The traditional corridor-cubicle dormitory has little public space, isolated lives and estranged neighborhoods. While based on substantial studies of mixed dwelling phenomena since long peculiar to China, from hutong, tube-shaped apartments to village-in-city, the architect has comprehended the dynamics of youth communities and carried on a nuanced spatial grading according to living schedules and neighborhood relationship, finally arrived at a flexible logic of public space organization that redefines the ‘dormitory’ in a new, plural and socio-ecological way.
The typical single long corridor stringing all standardized rooms now is inflected into a quartet, an externally undulating, internally continuous whole. Each corner becomes a new space with an open view: the public dining and kitchen, shared office and party terrace – integrating public activities into surrounding environment. Every quarter encircles an atrium with optimal lighting and ventilation and interposes bridges, stairs and tiered seats that compose a continuous public transportation route like an open street network that unfolds encounters, chatting, working, dining together and spending naturally. Under a limited cost, the color and material take on the spatial signs and direction with flexibly assembling furniture board modules. Thus, a simple and flexible framework accommodates spatial innovative patterns along with daily living scenes, encouraging interlevel encounters among the private, shared and collective zones and finally the community growth.
Though already transited from the uniform collective era to the mobile plural era, still the urban residential typology hasn’t developed a matching richness, the interpersonal interaction even more insulated within isolated communities. In the project, the architect responds to the hybrid reality in practice: mutual cooperation and positive interaction with the environment through inter-spatial sharing based on equality and self-sufficiency of each individual – the ‘New Youth Commune’.
Wang Shuo is an architect, researcher and curator based in Beijing. He received his B. Arch. from Tsinghua University and M. Arch. from Rice University. He has practiced extensively in New York, Rotterdam and Beijing in the field of architecture and urbanism research. He had worked for OMA on various large scale projects including RAK Gateway City, and Interlace in Singapore (Urban Habitat Award ). META-Project is a contemporary practice operating in the fields of architecture and urbanism research. META-Project is interested in what defines the contemporary way of life in the context of increasingly uncontrolled urban conditions, with specific focus on the emergent socio/cultural phenomenon in Asian cities generated by unprecedented urban transition. As a culture platform that spans between architecture and urbanism research, META-Project is actively engaged in worldwide cross-disciplinary collaboration that involve multiple dimensions of the contemporary medium.
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