Xiang Yun Towers
A temperate climate with frequent presence of fog, and the desire to integrate the apartments into their park setting provoked the proposal of a highly pervious fçade with large openings to maximise the capitalisation of natural light and ventilation, and to surround the apartments by gardened decks.
China - Wenjiang // Residential towers + masterplanning // 531.904m² built, 98.970m² site, 267m² per apartment // Climate: humid subtropical Cwa
A personal garden in the sky
A garden in the park. The fact that the towers are located in a huge public park means that, even though it’s surrounded by greenery, it doesn’t have that much privacy. Creating a cantilevered personal garden for each apartment protects the views and highlights the connection with nature.
Beautiful yet affordable
Using a traditional structure. In spite of its spectacular and recognizable shape, the structure is kept really simple (as can be seen on the plans) and therefore inexpensive, compared to what it looks like.
As well as integrating the building into its park environment with a continuous green balcony, the inhabitants can enjoy their own garden and, even on a foggy day with little visibility, enjoy an exterior garden view.

To maintain a large proportion of aperture in the outer façade the overhead structure is tapered off in a rounded form, therefore maximising the entry of light and relieving the visual force of a large overhead cantilever. The resulting form of the floor planes, irregularly curving in plan and rounded in section, evoke a cloud form, pertinent in their vertical stacking and in the environment of often foggy skies. The metaphor led us to name the tower Xiàng Yún, meaning the cloud of God in Chinese, as the Gods travelled on clouds. This also is associated with the connotation of luck, important in the Chinese philosophy, as the cloud of luck, as it's popularly believed that the Gods bring luck.

The buildings are zero-carbon, low maintenance low energy consumption and of sustainable architectural + social design. Local materials and resources would be used as a priori in the construction. Wenjiang, a district of the Chengdu Metropolis in central China, was an industrial city of 300,000 people. As part of China's recent modernisation a master plan for the district decentralised industry, and in the residual space various redevelopment plans were instigated. The projected tower is situated on a flat, 10ha, central city site stretching along the east bank of the Jiang'an River, and is planned as a large central park with multiple apartment towers of two distinct types to achieve high population density within pleasant public surroundings. Of the Xiàng Yún tower there are 16 examples.

Two higher quality apartments are located per floor, separated by a deck punctuated by holes to permit the filtering of light and interconnection of floors thought which trees can grow, an open stair and a generous light well. The two apartments are surrounded by a continuous balcony, curved and irregular in form as a counterpoint to the rectilinear apartments. The balcony is double to create a raised garden of varying width with a depth of 1.1m to permit the cultivation of decently sized plants. There are two types of differing balcony plans, alternately superimposed producing a more irregular and organic appearance to the building.
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