The “Vertical Village: A Sustainable Way of Village-style Living” by Yushang Zhang, Rajiv Sewtahal, Riemer Postma and Qianqian Cai (with studio tutor Alexander Sverdlov, at The Why Factory of professor Winy Maas (MVRDV) at the TU Delft) was recently awarded the first prize in the d3 Housing Tomorrow 2011 Competition.
The competition called for transformative solutions that advanced sustainable thought, building performance, and social interaction through the study of intrinsic environmental geometries, social behaviors, urban implications, and programmatic flows.
The d3 Housing Tomorrow competition assumes that architecture does not simply form, but rather perform various functions beyond those conventionally associated with residential buildings.
What we strive to explore in this medium‐density housing project is a new way to obtain the joy of village living without occupying as much land resources as traditional villages do.
A traditional village provides its habitants with various plots to build their unique house which shapes or reflects different lifestyles. However, a village occupies too many land resources which should belong to nature. A high-rise residence provides efficiency and capacity, but personal domains lose the uniqueness they should have. Therefore, we came up with the idea of the “3D plot” to provide a third choice called “Vertical Village”.
The division of the 3D plot is based on the 3D Voronoi algorithmic system, which can translate the relation of points into interfaces to divide a certain volume into individual cells. If every cell is owned by one family, by changing the positions of points, we can create various 3D individual domains.
A special rule controlling the generation of points is that every point should be relatively orthogonal to its nearest point, so that every cell will have its largest surface being perpendicular or parallel to the horizon. Some activities, like cooking or studying, can rely on those orthogonal surfaces, while others, like gardening or having a party, can happen in those irregular parts. Therefore, both practical and dramatic spaces have been defined by this system.
Like the embryo living in its egg, each family can decide where and how to put their house inside their 3D plot. A series of cells are designed as circulation and public facilities to provide habitants with conveniences and places to have collective activities.
In the end, collective dwelling is not a simple stacking of layers anymore, but becomes a more complicated and organized coexistence of unique individual domains in a vertical village.