“Molewa” was an architectural competition for a new neighbourhood in Ruichang, Jiangxi province, China. Our proposal bet on a new era of Chinese architecture – one less blatant and more attentive to the local context. The proposal relays  traditional elements, avoids free formal gestures, and presents a careful architecture vis-à-vis the vernacular architecture of southern China, marked by windows protected by traditional railings and hanging plants.

Formally, the building is like a stack of apartments piled up in an apparently slipshod manner, with overhangs corresponding to covered terraces that function as private gardens: some apartments have terraces that permeate or jut into the building’s mass. External stairways mean these apartments can share the terraces sandwiched between them. Conferring lightness and pace, they can be rearranged depending on the wishes of the developer: the design may comprise more or fewer terraces depending on the residents’ profile, the desired construction cost, and the local market reality.

The composition gives the building a somewhat informal shape: a two-dimensional pattern that, applied in three dimensions, generates structural and spatial complexities.

Visualizations: Edit Studio