Three Courtyard Community Centre / AZL architects


Architects: AZL architects – Zhang Lei
Location: Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province,
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

© 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.

north elevation

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.

© Iwan Baan

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.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Three Courtyard Community Centre / AZL architects" 08 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • skrilax

    Impressive! At last something REALLY genuine and frank, yet delicate and romantic, deeply embedded in the local context! Great piece of architecture!