Apartment blocks, public housing
In 2008 Peia designed, for the same client, both the architecture and interior of 2 towers consisting of 200 apartments divided on 25 floors respectively. The complete design of the master plan, the façades, and the fully furnished interior spaces allowed the successful realization of the project, entitled as Royal Garden Phase 2. At that point, the client, convinced with our capabilities, decided to further develop an addition of 10 high rise buildings with a total of 1200 units of 3- 4 bedrooms apartments and all related complementary facilities such as a school, an organic food market and 3 low rise buildings that would house restaurants and wellness areas. The project’s aim was not only to be an innovative, iconic, sustainable, cost effective and be seen as a landmark, but it also intended to create a different approach to the modularity of these high rise residential building typology by emphasizing a design with a greater sense of inclusiveness, via creating an identity for the community and raising awareness to the importance of belonging to a community as individuals.
The main strategy is the creation of different expressions, by the use of a play, to break the floors layout repetition along the facades with parametric changes that mirrors the impression of waving towers.
Recognizing in some way an individual identity that exceeds the standards of housing logic in China. In general, there is a sense of constant heights for the profiles, uniformity and repetition of the facades that cancels any sense of belonging. The design process must be subjected to a management system that optimizes the criteria, respecting the expected numbers and planning of the apartments according to the average spending capacity of the inhabitants in the area. Respect for the obscure vestments of Feng Shui, from a special commission that analyzes and comments on the projects for possible improvements, becomes a complicated step in the project elaboration. The layouts appear the same, but slight alterations of the parameters differentiate the cuts of the apartments, even within the blocks themselves.
As a result, the facade design for each building block follows the same rule of interrupting the uniformity, by crossing and solving the intrusions and extrusions of volumes and balconies with its own new character, without affecting the approved layout and corresponding floor areas.
The buildings are similar, yet their façades are different as per plan layout difference. The variety is important to avoid a tiling effect, repetition and monotonous fronts. The undulating shape has same wave frequency (height floor to floor), but different wave length ( the different progressive length, minus or plus, level by level of the white panels on the balconies balustrade). In order to reduce the unproportioned massif front elevations, in contrast with the narrow thickness of the sides, we aimed to express unity and separation in the facades at the same time.
A story was developed throughout the composition following some symbolic themes. Horizontally with the abstract image of clouds and the lines of the rice fields; verticality recalling in parametric mode the mountain peaks of famous Chinese mountains.
The intervention includes two high rise residential buildings whose roof is dynamic, hosting terraces on several levels. These outdoor spaces are dominated by green lush vegetations, thanks to the use of hydroponic greenhouses. Greenery plays an imperative role on the façades where some balconies are double-height and are designed to accommodate thick vegetation to protect the interior spaces from sunlight and generate a pleasant microclimate.
Moreover the plot hosts a commercial building, in which there are three different restaurants. On the façade, the panels take up the same dynamic motif used in residential buildings RG3 and RG4.
The facades are made mainly from glass, fibre cement, aluminium panels and aluminium mesh in order to allow double skin and ventilation through the facades. The laminated glass of balconies and bay windows are treated with patterned and parametric frit to create the fading effect of white clouds, playing with the combined reflection of the sky.
The penthouse terrace and entrance canopies are made of “structural Louvers” that allow shading and prevent rain by adding glass panels. The different height of the triangular modules made with the same material, cover all the pathways and pedestrian connection between buildings, favor natural ventilation between the green area and the water feature and artificial ponds.
Small waterfalls cool with a rolling effect for comfort in the summer. The LED RGB lighting system of the landscape is invisible and indirect or hidden between the trees and the louvers of the canopies.
The intervention includes two high rise residential buildings whose roof is dynamic, hosting terraces on several levels. These outdoor spaces are dominated by green lush vegetations, thanks to the use of hydroponic greenhouses. A commercial building, restaurants, organic market , kindergarten and other amenities.
The design of the interiors was conceived parallel to the development of the architecture as the hard space planning underlying the design of the layout, minimizing waste space, in compliance with Feng Shui, sun achievement for winter and shading in summer, natural ventilation and flexibility. In addition to the economic impact and new behaviors of the emerging social Chinese standards, the one child per family policy.
The Chinese clients already appreciated this “Italian Way” of designing without borders in the disciplines of practice by not separating interior and exterior spaces. This design approach, already exists in the apartments of the 2 first towers, sold very quickly, despite the real Estate crisis in 2008, since the users, the new citizens and buyers, appreciated the flow and coherency between landscape, architecture and interiors.
ClientYanfull (Shanghai) Co Ltd
Gross Floor Area (mq)170000
Design teamPeia Associati
Main ContractorHai Tian Construction
Photo CreditsPeia Associati
After his partnership with Piero Lissoni, at Lissoni Peia Associati, in 2006 Giampiero Peia founded Peia Associati studio with Marta Nasazzi. The international practice develops design in a wide spectrum of geographical and thematic areas, from urban planning to interior design and from large scale architectural planning to industrial product design. The studio received international awards for various projects like The Westin Resort in Maldives, Residential towers in Shanghai, the biggest Buddhist temple in Europe, the second life Coca Cola pavilion at Expo Milan and the Tallest Building in Doha. In 2017, Peia in collaboration with Robonica was awarded first prize at the Vertical Farm International Awards. Peia designed and executed “A Piece of Sky“ Sri Lankan pavilion at the XXII Triennale di Milano. The designs are fueled by constant research in the fields of progressive design, technology, innovative materials and smart systems working always in parallel with environmental aims.