The site is located in the Zhengzhou New Area, between the contemporary provinical capital city of Zhengzhou and the ancient city of Kaifeng. The government plans to strengthen the bonding between them by developing a new precinct in between.
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Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2023
J18 Gemstone Apartments
Residential Architecture (Concept)
Wong & Tung International Limited
Mr. John Yuen, Ms. Amy Ho, Ms. Helen Lau, Ms Fiona Lai, Mr. Adrian Lau.
©Wong & Tung International Limited
The project is a VIBRANT 24-hour LIVE-WORK city village consisting of mall, hotel, office, F&B hub and apartments. The first 2 levels of the apartments is an open-plan retail village. It connects to other buildings with link bridges enhancing the spatial experience and accessibility. The 4 apartment blocks provide various types of flats for people with different needs. A large clubhouse locating in the mid-level connects all the apartment blocks, encouraging communal life experience for residents.
URBAN ROOFTOP FARMING
On the roofs of the four apartment towers are urban rooftop farms. ‘Rooftop farming’ refers to any collective activity to grow food crops such as vegetables, fruit and herbs on building roofs in the city. Through urban rooftop farming, the project encourages active recreation, promoting a healthier urban lifestyle and greater social interaction amongst residents.
Although being different from green roof installations, urban rooftop farming can improve energy conservation and thermal performance. It can also reduce urban heat island effect and increase urban biodiversity, making a positive contribution to urban greening.
THE GEMSTONE AS A SIGNBOARD
To the south of our lot faces the major connecting road between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng – the Grand Zhengkai Avenue. The adjacent lot to the north is the proposed Gemstone Museum which is the magnet and major attraction for the entire area. The apartments sit between the museum and the avenue, being the tallest buildings in this area, we use the scale of the massing to serve as a major SIGNBOARD and utilitarian way-finding device for the Gemstone Museum hidden behind. With the cars travelling at a high speed on the avenue, people will see the apartments from afar – the elongated faceted Gemstone that floats in the middle of the apartments which houses a vibrant clubhouse, it signifies the presence of the Museum and it gives a strong identity to the architecture and the entire development.
EVOLUTION OF FORM
The FORM finding process has been an interactive response to the surrounding forces. Firstly, the building shall be a good-looking unique way-finding device; then the disposition of the 4 blocks was an answer to the contextual figure ground relationship with the neighbouring buildings and open spaces. Finally, rationalising the masses to have the geometry following the functional requirements.
A COLLECTION OF PICTURES
The apartment blocks are where people call “Home”, the concept of “Homecoming “is of paramount importance. People from all walks of lives will come to live in this new area and so we see the facade as a PICTURE wall of many photo frames. The facade is made up of many frames of familiar faces and places, juxtaposed with an everchanging colourful display of the gemstone feature. It becomes an interesting convergence of energies that young families would find appealing.
‘The GEMSTONE’ is the sky clubhouse for residents, presenting the relaxing and healthy lifestyle of the community. It houses an array of communal facilities that a model contemporary residential development often desires for. The facade is formed by faceted glass on steel trusses that provides for the extensive scale. It has a lighting design programmed to show different colours to create an attractive ambiance to the entire area.
Hitting three birds with one gemstone, this clubhouse is a solution to the architectural design, the way-finding challenge and the programmatic requirements.
MODULAR INTEGRATED CONSTRUCTION (MiC)
The apartment blocks use MiC, which is an advanced prefabricated construction method. Completed module units integrated with finishes, fixtures and fittings are manufactured and assembled off site, and are then transported onto site for installation in a building. Each MiC unit is of a standard size of 3m (w) x 6m/9m (l).
Unlike conventional practices which adopts on-site construction, MiC transfers this process to a controlled factory environment. This can shorten construction period, generate less construction waste and reduces the concern of unpredicted weather conditions. Health risks, work safety and site constraints from working on site can also be minimised, which enhances overall construction safety and productivity.