The L-building


Team L-Building: Neville Mars, Govert Gerritsen
Team GBD: Neville Mars, Wenjing Huang, Saskia Vendel, Nico Bornman, Li Xin Lu, Soomeen Hahm
Impact simulations: Kathy Basheva

Summary PDF or watch

The L-building

The ultimate luxury of living in a suburban area is a private garden. Each apartment has a terrace / garden of 96 square meters. The L-shape envelopes the garden situated at the heart of the apartment. The inhabitants thus do not only live in a garden city, but they live in their garden as well. The outer sides of the L are completely closed, the inner side is completely glazed. Adjacent apartments provide privacy for each other. The largest strech of the glass façade opens to the terrace. The geometry ensures that the terraces have a maximum of direct sunlight. The protruding end of the apartment above forms a porch over a quarter of the terrace.
At the end of the leg of the L, the façade is open for an unobstructed view of the park below

在郊区终极奢华的生活环境就是一个私人花园。 每一个公寓有一个96平米的露台或花园。 L形设计将花园包裹在整个公寓的中心位置。因此所有的居民都不仅是住在一个花园城市里,而且那也是他们自己的花园。L型以外的部分都是全封闭的。内部是完全透光的。相邻的公寓互相提供私密空间。最大的玻璃墙面向露台。这样的几何形状确保了最大限度的阳光直接洒在露台上。公寓上方突出的末端形成了一个走廊悬于四分之一的露台上。 在L的末端,墙面毫无遮挡的可以看到下面的花园。

The basic building block of the project is an L-shaped terrace apartment. The apartment are stacked in a pattern which is shifted diagonally. This shift makes it possible to introduce an entirely new housing type.

项目的基本建筑模式是L型公寓楼。 公寓都是延斜线上移叠落在一起的。这样的移动使一种全方位的新的房屋类型成为可能。

Before padding a city out with insulation, we need to imagine what living environments we actually want to inhabit

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Hybrid Hutong - excerpt from the interview with Erich Schienke

Read the full interview about the L-building in the Green Edge!

E: You have designed a green apartment block for the suburbs of Beijing: The L-building. "A a soft transition from single story hutong-like villages and skyscrapers."... I have a sense for what this could mean... What does this mean in practice? How does this L-design directly speak to the perceived needs of individual well-being?

N: The L-building* is an architectural proposal that responds to our concerns on the individual scale. Green projects and particularly housing need to be marketable. We feel the increasingly critical home-owner will not accept the plastic boxes on offer today much long; a housing stock of more diversity with preferably more comfortable homes is in itself more sustainable. This means part of the problem is purely architectural. I realize this is a direct critique of the design education in China that still has not been able to adopt a conceptual approach - let alone nurture the creativity of its students.

The letter L embodies such qualities. L is the primary shape of the apartment, but L also stands for Luxury and for Loft. We have designed the units as lofts not merely as the epitome of the architects dream apartment but as a space that can easily be adapted from one owner to the next; either completely compartmentalized* or entirely open, suitable for an increasing number of single families (the maturing one child generation).

The building as a whole introduces other aspects such as social sustainability, we are missing in China and in the general discussion. Nothing is more desirable than a house with amenities such as running hot and cold water a toilet and a view. But the transfer from the ping fang* - the simple derivative of the famous hutong* - to the modern tower block is often less rewarding as time goes by. The traditional Chinese neighborhood including the Danwei*, had an exceptional social coherence. Qualities of the ping fang* that were taken for granted, including a sense of community are disappearing.

Both the GBD art district and the L-building mediate* between China’s traditional urban environment and the trend of up-scaling*, between low-rise and the modern tower block. First of all the L-building aims to respond to some rudimentary suburban desires; a large private garden and your car at arm’s length. But as a collectively developed, owned and operated building, the L-building resonates more traditional principles and offers a soft transition from single story village to skyscrapers.

It seems a contradiction and failed attempts prevail, but the Chinese courtyard or siheyuan can be stacked. The basic building block of the project is an L-shaped apartment that is stacked and then shifted diagonally. This shift makes it possible to introduce an entirely new housing type; a hybrid between a high-rise and a hutong. The three essential qualities of a courtyard; a large garden, close connection to the neighborhood and privacy become available in a compact typology. Each apartment has a terrace/garden of 96 square meters. This is achieved by fusing the typology of patio with terrace housing*. The long walls of a huge terrace function as a courtyard on your rooftop. The protruding semi-cantilevered gardens catch the sun even when it sets behind the building. Walking to the end of your terrace you overlook the neighboring gardens, the park and the surroundings.

All good architecture is inherently green. These are two projects that represent a living environment that originates from Chinese conditions but with future citizens in mind.

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Sustainability research for the L-building by Kathy Basheva

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Owned by neville mars / Added by neville mars / 16.1 years ago / 84060 hits / 4 hours view time



  • hutong
  • interview
  • l-building
  • loft
  • the chinese drean

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