New Space Architects' plan for Xuefu Boulevard takes inspiration from traditional Chinese courtyards
Situated on an undulating slope overlooking the Yangtze River, Xuefu Boulevard Villas is part of a larger housing project masterplan - consisting of both high-rise and low-rise residences - located at the southern shore of Chongqing city.
The urban design concept aims to incorporate a number of overarching objectives: creating a safe and community friendly estate, establishing the site as an urban oasis through an understanding of both geometry and the surrounding landscape and lastly enhancing the interconnectivity up and down the terraces, making it easier for people to walk into and through the estate.
Drawing inspirations from Oscar Newman's theory of ‘Defensible Space', New Space's design brief for Xuefu Boulevard Villas breaks away from the conventional design of a gated community to recreate traditional Chinese villages conjugated around series of courtyards. The design of the courtyards, at times transparent and at times not, juxtapose the dwellings-their entries and amenities-with the estate streets so as to incorporate the streets within the sphere of influence of the residential environment. This forges an experiential sequence of walking through a series of opening and closing of vistas, encouraging the residents to 'colonise' the public spaces and create a safer community as envisioned by Newman. This anti-gated design approach encapsulates the very essence of an urban community and fosters a shared sense of community.
A myriad of pathways intertwined amongst the villas facilitates pedestrian movement up and down the hillside. The meandering paths along the contours capture the natural elements of the surrounding and create a harmonious integration between the urban community and Mother Nature - through the use of water, stone, planting and lighting. Blending seamlessly as reliefs along the pathways, pocket parks create the perfect opportunity for the community to engage with each other against the picturesque backdrop of a classical Chinese painting.
Through a careful balancing of various design elements, the architectural design mix of a few different unit types within the same neighbourhood highlights a sense of individuality within a certain structure. Each unit has developed its own identity in relation to the overall masterplan and its surroundings.