standardarchitecture: tree towers housing standardarchitecture: tree towers housing
jan 03, 2012

standardarchitecture: tree towers housing

‘tree towers housing’ by standardarchitecture, shenzhen, china image © designboom

for the ’10 million units: housing an affordable city’ exhibition at the shenzhen & hong kong bi-city biennale of urbanism \ architecture, beijing-based firm standardarchitecture created ‘tree towers housing’, a residential proposal which occupies the smallest urban plot possible. designed for the ‘1 unit – 100 families – 10000 residents affordable housing competition’, this community of cylindrical highrises explores a new experience in urban living, creating opportunities for social interaction between different floors and other nearby vertical units with outdoor stairs and areas. with a building footprint of 10 to 14 square meters, the dwelling units include essential facilities within the limited living space, enlarging interior spaces with balconies which extend towards apartments in neighboring buildings.

six storeys are capped with a public roof terrace filled with the canopy of a large tree. the second through fifth floors are comprised of four separate apartments while the ground level is reserved for a small shop or cafe. combined with small internal areas, the scale of the complex is reduced to the human level, while the close proximity of each building generates a dense environment within the city’s fabric. the framework may be replicated in crowded cities, providing an alternative to current large-scale housing developments.

balconies and outdoor stairs project from the towers voids allowing social interaction between the complex’s dwellers image © designboom

the building’s circular footprints range from 10 to 14 square meters image © designboom

tree canopies emerge from rooftop terraces image © designboom

stairs fill the voids along the towers vertical length image © designboom

balconies arranged to allow interaction with dwellers in neighboring towers image © designboom

balcony detail image © designboom

the 2011 SZHK biennale in shenzhen, china runs from december 8th through december 11th 2011. the scale of certain projects is such that the architect becomes not only a designer of buildings but also city planner and landscape architect and the shenzhen & hong kong bi-city biennale of urbanism \ architecture reflects this in its theme: architecture creates cities – cities create architecture. the SZHK biennale is the first to focus on urbanism as an ongoing theme to explore issues of the city as an active agent in contemporary culture. the program included more than 30 exhibitions, symposiums, panel discussions and performances. terence riley has been appointed chief curator (he is the first international curator for the event). the hong kong edition will work to complement the shenzhen biennale in an integrative way and is curated by gene king and anderson lee currently under preparation and due to open in february 2012. designboom is the principal international media partner of the SZHK biennale.

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