In Xiamen, China, NL Architects has prosed a kind of new urban central core in the residential area of Xiamen North Station Complex which integrates a public “street” lifestyle with residential and commercial programs. “Vankely”, (Vanke Alley) illustrates a new and unique kind of urban typology where individual programs work in relation with one another to form an overall unified system.
Housing Corporation Vanke has invited NL Architects to work along side them in combining commercial shopping areas, with SOHO’s (small office/ home office) that combine residential usage with office spaces. There are eight towers that serve as an intermediate surrounding or a required environment for the street design to be established.
The design for the high-rise towers follows that of a computational model which is meant to complement the surrounding commercial units, with respect to the land usage. The towers are now under construction and the “street” aspect will be placed in afterwards. The shopping areas and the SOHO’s are all covered underneath the emerging landscape to reduce the amount of impact it may potentially have towards the back side of the street. The hilled landscape now serve as a new attractive platform for the high rise towers.
The project also proposes a set of “ bridge buildings” along a thin area of fluctuating commercial streets and plaza that merges outwards. These bridged buildings gravitate towards the central area of the complex as their heights increase, these buildings also consisting of SOHO unit types. On top of the SOHO’s and retail areas consists of an accessible green roof, which increase the perspective and the potential for landscaping and allows inhabitants to fully utilize the area of the complex.
NL architects tries to create a beneficial structural composition of the existing street and allows it to edge up against the proposed new street to decrease the distance to the residential towers. The wandering layout allows residence to experience the multi-perspective of the “street” life. Vankely is a kind of social, residential hub that is anticipating to emerge out into its surroundings, to providing a new type of experience at a compelling level.
By Amal Dirie