- Architect In Charge : Tang Zhang
- Client : Chengdu Yulin East Road Community
- City : Chengdu
- Country : China
Text description provided by the architects. Yulin Alley is initiated by the Yulin East Road Community and Disabled Persons Federation of Wuhou District and is planned, designed, and operated by Nhoow architects. It's a community center that is trying to create an environment of freedom and equality that suits all. More people with disabilities will be encouraged to come and take part in our activities and more people can do more exploration attempts. We truly hope that everyone in Yulin Alley can get a little more than they expect and enjoy a good moment of life.
In the previous work of the project, we conducted five-month research with the community staff to get an in-depth understanding of the basic situation, daily behaviors, and living habits of the disabled people in the community. The results showed that the disabled people in the community were mainly with hearing impairment and mood disorder. Most of them avoided community activities, because of "nothing to do" "not knowing" and "the unpredictability".
The space adopts a concave-convex misalignment plane layout, which makes the space almost free of visual dead corners and revolved around a lively moderate sense of security and distance. The facade treatment of interior and exterior, and the special outdoor seats with the reserved trees together create a fun atmosphere, which is convenient for strangers to communicate with each other.
In order to meet the needs of different groups of people and achieve the purpose of “open and free”, various spaces including outdoor activity space, indoor activity space, and grey space ( the transition space between the building and its external environment, in order to achieve the integration of interior and exterior ) and are designed in it. And inspired by “engawa ( an intervention space between interior and exterior, a type of grey space ) ” in Japan and “Meiren Kao ( a chair wins its name for being sat by beauties and leaned along their waist ) ” in China, the floor of the outdoor space is raised to build outside seating area, forming a new open space that breaks the boundary between interior and exterior space.
Besides, a membrane structure is used at the top of the space, allowing for a gentle introduction and reflection of light. And the flexible material and the solid wood structure form a balance between soft and rigid. More people with disabilities will be encouraged to come and take part in our activities. At the same time, the space will also become a window for more people to do more exploration attempts. And we truly hope that everyone in Yulin Alley can get a little more than they expect and enjoy a good moment of life.
Since the opening in May 2020, Yulin Alley has united the community, NPO, commercial brands, and other social forces. On the one hand, we held various commercial pop-up events and public welfare activities every month to provide a rich life experience for the community residents. On the other hand， we will recruit aunts in the local community to be the staff of Yulin Alley, trying to build a set of business models and products with local community attributes, which will lay a solid foundation for the community residents and disabled people to start their own businesses in the future.
Aimed at creating a place that supports entrepreneurship and participation in events by people with disabilities via their involvement throughout its planning, design, and running, this project is of great social significance to the community. The intimate alley spaces and the relationship between the internal and external spaces produces just the right degree of distance, increasing the visibility of people with disabilities while ensuring that their presence is taken for granted without being over-emphasized.