Architects: AZL architects – Zhang Lei
Location: Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Shen Kaikang, Yang Hefeng
Collaborator: Yangzhou City Planning & Design Institute
Project area: 1,900 sqm
Project year: 2008 – 2009
Photographs: Iwan Baan
On the eastern edge of Yangzhou’s new development area and east of the 2500-year-old Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Three Courtyard Community Centre stands out from the surrounding newly completed call centres, glass office blocks, and farmers’ villages. The Community centre’s programme calls for recreation, dining, and meeting spaces for the surrounding residents and employees.
The three courtyard blocks each feature a different element of a traditional Chinese garden: bamboo, stones, and water. Around each themed courtyard, brick-clad units congregate to form a village atmosphere.
The architect’s interests in vernacular public structures evolved into the typology of this project. Continuous roof profiles in local villages and red clay bricks made from the local riverbed undeniably anchor the project the site. The terracotta bricks are used both in structure and in façade, with patterns stemming from and building upon local building culture.