04 March 2016
Since the high rise gated community appeared in China, the sense of neighbourhood seems to have disappeared from the modern city. Moreover, the presence of air-conditioning units, typically hanging from the outer walls of dwellings, has made living conditions on balconies and outdoor communal spaces unbearable due to the heat released. In the quest for an alternative to recover these lost facets, the design research focused on Southern China and explored a courtyard community as a means of providing spatial cohesion and a better neighbourhood.
The final project uses passive cooling strategies to reduce the use of air-conditioning. This includes several key factors. Firstly, a movable shading device for the balcony to both block and diffuse direct solar radiation. Its permeability allows wind to blow through indoor and semi-outdoor spaces and since it is movable, it can be controlled according to seasonal variations. Secondly, the ventilated roof removes excessive heat caused by solar exposure. Thirdly, the opening of the courtyard makes use of the urban windy environment, creating comfortable outdoor spaces in the courtyard.
From a social point of view, the balcony and semi-outdoor spaces increase interactions between residents, providing them with outdoor life with the courtyard serving as an outdoor living room, offering residents a cohesive and vibrant social life while still maintaining enough privacy for the community.
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