Fuzhou Shouxi building

The balcony wave

Shouzi is an apartment complex in the old center of Fuzhou, the capital of the Chinese province of Fujian. The U-shaped building has a striking facade as a result of the undulating balconies. By manipulating the balconies, diversity has been created in the different residential units, each with its own unique outdoor space. The courtyard, which arises from the U-shape of the building, serves as a collective ''living room'' for all the residents.
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John van de Water, Jiang Xiaofei with Wopke Tjipke Schaafstal ,Wang Bo, Wang Yan, Zhou Tong, Yu Peng, Yin Ya Ling, Jiang Ci Ai, Liu Feng Qin, Ren Wan Ting

Chinese Architectural Housing Design Competition 2012 / Gold Medal

Exploring parametic designs

The Fuzhou Shouxi Building is located in the center of the capital city of Fuzhou of Fujian Province, China. This complex location in the heart of the city results in many restrictions and regulations. In order to realize the new building with 400 apartments, a parametric design with a soft organic shape has been developed by changing the floor bands on each level, resulting in an undulating facade. The staggering of the floor belt gives the building a strong identity and recognizability.

Connecting communal areas

To prevent the apartment building from resulting in an overwhelming mass of identical residential units, diversity has been introduced by manipulating the balconies. This creates a variety of housing typologies, each with its own unique outdoor space. The undulating balconies go around three sides of the building, while an opening on the fourth facade continues into a large atrium. A glass roof brings daylight into the apartments and balconies overlooking this common area. A shorter building attached to the main block contains apartments on the upper floors and commercial spaces on the ground floor and first floor. Both buildings have roof gardens and an underground parking garage for residents.

Creating a building with identity

With a FAR (Floor Area Ratio) of 5.0 combined with many limitations, a U-shape manifested itself as the optimal solution for the apartment complex. The courtyard that is hereby created serves as a collective ”living room” for all residents of the building. The building’s form has been compared by local media to Shouxi seal stones – blocks of soapstone with carved identifying seals and often with decorative carvings around their upper edges. The shape is the result of the architectural ambition to create variation and an own identity within a project with many limitations.

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