- Light Counselor: Chloe Zhang
- Owner: Chengdu Vanke
- Principle Architect: Ting Yu
- Project Architect: Liran Sun
- Design Team: Haoyang Li
- Light Counselor: Chloe Zhang
- City: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. In February this year, The Youkong Living Room designed by Wutopia for Vanke Midwest finished its construction in Chengdu’s Go Mall. After a 20-year development of real estate, almost every Chinese citizen now lives in “Xiao Qu”, the Chinese name for closed residential district. With highly similar space layouts, “Xiao Qu” creates nearly zero communal space for residents that it’s hard to create a community in such circumstance.
As a buffering zone between home and urban space, “Xiao Qu” was supposed to be place of communication, where residents can hang out, relax and build relationships. This buffering zone now exists only as a guarding boundary that is not even able to serve in a good manner, which directly exposes home space to the external world. By bringing different community services such as mailing, package delivery, meeting, reading, meet-up, etc., together into Xiao Qu space, a shared community living room can be created with a 15-minute walkability that residents can easily reach to and this is what Youkong Living Room is trying to achieve in order to update the services of Xiao Qu. Eventually Wutopia Lab chose the Fifth Community Go Mall in Chengdu as the site to showcase this experimental community living room project.
The site has an irregular planar space and in order to keep the reproductivity of Youkong Living Room, we chose to place three rectangular box space into the site that the first one is service box, the second is social box, and the third is box for female. Three boxes create an inner city within the site and the residual becomes free space.
The Service Box is for package delivery; The Social Box works as a living room and reading space; The Female Box is kitchen and kid’s area. Each box is relatively independent and still connected in some way. We think the Female Box is the core of Youkong Living room since the majority group of residents in community is female and children, the Female Box can not only provide kitchen space, but also work as a party space for residents, which make it the Social Box an extension of Female Box.
Boxes are surrounded by book shelves to hold books and objects that becomes the interface of boxes, which create an effect of translucencies.
The biggest questioning from non-design side is that we are asked to open up the space to create a wide-open view. We think this outdated recognition of domestic space is exactly the problems in currently real estate development in China. No one would like to be seen in their living room or kitchen, these spaces are for friends and acquaintances. This should be the foundation of creating a community with relationships and we insist on a closeness in spatial condition and a semi-openness visual condition. A space of layering and rich spatial conditions is what we would like to create in Youkong Living Room.
We also designed a mezzanine space hidden above those bookshelves because maximizing the usage of space is important in real estate. However, in this case in order to provide a comfortable for the first level of the box, we have to cut out the cut off the mezzanine and only leave a small balcony for implicational purpose.
We make the reading room with Tiffany Blue as the core of the Female Box in response to the spiral staircase with Klein Blue at the entry, as well as the external kid’s area with bright yellow color at the back of the box. This community living room would be just a cliché and lose its function of demonstration if it was hidden inside of a commercial space. Youkong Living Room is more like an opening box on its façade. The four-meter high semi open entrance is made of perforated aluminum panels, which is a representational move of Wutopia Lab that from there you can see warm and gentle lightings, bright blue colors and kid’s laughter. People come and go with their expectation of life, the living room becomes a place of sharing, sharing of objects and food, as well as good memories and unique experiences, we hope this living room can be a little pride hidden in the city of Chengdu.