Nantou Hybrid Building

Shenzhen
Aerial view of Nantou Old Town, 2022
Photo © Zhang Chao
Aerial view
Photo © Zhang Chao
South-east aerial view
Photo © Zhang Chao
South-west aerial view
Photo © Zhang Chao
North view before renovation, 2017
Photo © UABB Photographer: Zhang Chao
North view after renovation, 2022
Photo © Zhang Chao
East view from Baode Square, 2018
Photo © UABB Photographer: Zhang Chao
East view from Baode Square, 2022
Photo © Zhang Chao
East view
Photo © Zhang Chao
North-east view before renovation, 2020
Photo © URBANUS
North-east view after renovation, 2022
Photo © Zhang Chao
Light court
Photo © Zhang Chao
Spiral staircase in the atrium
Photo © Zhang Chao
Interior and terrace on the east side of the 4th floor
Photo © Zhang Chao
Roof garden
Photo © Zhang Chao
Roof garden
Photo © Zhang Chao
Architects
Urbanus Architecture & Design
Location
Shenzhen
Year
2022

Nantou, where a hidden millennia-old town and a lively urban village collide and integrate, has been simultaneously written in the grand national narrative while living the trivial daily life for over 20 years. The dream to re-live certain historical fiction of “Nantou Old Town” has always been lingering over the “Nine Streets” and never dissipated.

At the junction of Zhongshan South Street and Zhongshan East Street, five residential buildings of different heights and styles are tightly clustered together. They grew wantonly over the years, preserving the old while incorporating the new. Unlike most of the buildings on South Street that were refurnished once and for all, it does not rewrite the lost history or paint over the faces of Nantou, but rather preserves the complexities, contradictions and conflicts of the existing buildings.

Trace of additions and transformations, as well as replacement of materials, has been retained in the repoussé and chasing of both the interior and exterior. Two new volumes, one rectangular and one curvilinear, one solid and one void, are juxtaposed on the rooftop, with a small roof garden hidden within.

The “Hybrid Building” is an experiment in the evolution of “Urban coexistence” in Nantou, which demonstrates a gradual regeneration strategy of preserving the layers of history: to overlay rather than to replace.

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