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Qili Yang − TU Delft, The Netherlands

[Shortlist: 10 students from around the world] The AR highlights 10 emerging architecture students from renowned architecture schools across the world

Qili Yang (2010 Archiprix NL, Nomination) − TU Delft, The Netherlands

Tutors: Jasper van Zwol, Ype Cuperus, Birgit Jürgenhake

Smallness: Re-scripting the collective housing in Shenzhen

This project describes the idea of ‘smallness’ as an alternative to the large-scale urban development prevalent in China today, both spatially and in the way that that space is used.

Shenzhen is one of China’s fastest growing and most densely developed cities. There, small traditional structures are being swept away to be replaced by monstrous large-scale new-build. Small spaces for encounter are giving way to vast, aimless open plazas and evolved social microstructures being supplanted by China’s new wealthy residents. This project questions whether this is the correct strategy to follow and considers the possibility of building housing in ultra-high densities without losing sight of the local scale. The naturally evolved area of Da-xin in the centre of Shenzhen was chosen as the location for the experiment.

The scheme was established through dividing up the area into three levels. At street level, a great many small city blocks present a new network of tiny streets that lock into the existing structure. At the next level seven new clearings divide the planning area into seven individual blocks. Lastly, at the highest level, groups of mini-towers follow the scale of the received fabric, accompanied by a study into the prospects of a new dwelling type typical of Shenzhen.

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