A real estate innovation for improving the lifestyle of its residents. The destiny of the city dweller is to be an individual as well as part of a larger collective. Wutopia Lab will present a 1:1 scaled model of our neighborhood center research commissioned by “Zoina Land”, a Chinese real estate company, at an event sponsored by Zoina Land on the 18th of November.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

China’s residential development, in particular the development within large cities, has matured at an impressive rate. The resulting communities are unfortunately often self-centered, meaning residents often remain to themselves. Lack of attention towards developing neighborhood centers and committees makes it difficult for residents to meaningfully interact with each another. Our goal is to design a proposal that may revive a more romantic sense of community. This is 6xN Yard.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Diagram

The landscape portrayed by the 6xN Yard’s façade, in fact, has a close relationship to its Chinese resident’s culture and cultural aesthetic. This refined mountain landscape has always been the ideal setting for Chinese people. This landscape inspired façade will ideally create a sense of nostalgia and yearning for nature in people living in a concrete city.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

Both the literati of Jiangnan and modern city residents will agree isolation from nature shackles our spirit. Gardens and landscapes are thus vital. Though community gardens are beautiful, they lack the privacy of gardens on independent property, a luxury in large residentially developed areas. So we built three small courtyards as a middle ground on this spectrum. One garden contains a tea house (a space for life), another is connected to a more private room (a space for thought), and the third is a spice garden that can be handpicked. These gardens are the borders of the neighborhood, connecting private space (home) to public space ( city streets).

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Plan

Through empirical research Zoina Land and architects have reached a consensus regarding the needs of modern residents. These needs are: a space for entertaining guests,a space for work, the availability of quality produce, the presence of convenient dining options, a social atmosphere, and a space for kids.
1 Community Living Room: for meeting friends, morning coffee, afternoon tea, open study space, etc.
2 Community Canteen: for casual dining from breakfast to dinner
3 Open Kitchen: for parties and cooking courses
4 Kid’s Heaven: for play, learning, extracurricular, and theatrical performances
5 Fresh Supermarket: for quality produce and daily necessities, includes delivery options
6 Reading Space: for book sharing, studying, reading, remedial classes
Each function is contained with a 6×6 meter box. This is the meaning of 6xN Yard.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Diagram

Zoina Landasked us to setup the model representation of 6xN Yard in three days, with the final product available for only one day. We decided to use an art installation approach to create a surreal representation of our idea. The required us to jump out of the mold for our design. Since the second floor can no longer permit visitors, I decided to place the second floor on the ceiling so visitors, when the look up, may easily see the design of the second floor. The plane inverted on the ceiling is a mirror image of the design. This way visitors on a single level may experience the change of space between two floors on a single plane thus creating a new surreal experience of reality.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

With semitransparent material enclosing the interior, the translucency of the material allows for the interaction of light and shadow that obscures the limited volume of the internal space. The furniture with in 6xN Yard, is pared down to its most basic and practical form and then painted white. The floor is made black so the white of the interior is intensified making it even more surreal. The pared down dimensions of the furniture further heightens this sense surrealism in the interior and draws the attention of the visitors.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

The mountain landscape is retained as the visual symbol of the architecture. I used black, grey, and white poly carbonate boards to create this seemingly ink painted landscape façade of 6xN Yard. Each piece of the faced is suspended in order to seem like it floats in space.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

We created a minimalist six part product. The final form of product is much different from the original design, but its essence remains the same. Both designs creates an ideal spiritual lifestyle where each person can wake up and look forward to each new day on the horizon.

Courtesy of Wutopia Lab – Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)

Project Info :

Architects : Wutopia Lab
Project Year : 2017
Project Area : 216 sqm
Chief Architect : YU Ting
Project Location : Shanghai, China
Lighting Consultant : Chloe ZHANG
Photographs : CreatAR Images ( AI Qing)
Design team : Shengrui PU, Liran SUN, Gary ZHANG

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