Aerial View

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

In 2019, TEAM_BLDG completed “THE VILLAGE” Apartments renovation in a well-known urban village of Guangzhou. With a newly renovated facade that dialogues and contrasts with the surrounding urban landscape, the project wants to set a new standard for the old urban village.

THE VILLAGE Apartments Technical Information

The “dialogue” with the original buildings in the urban village behind  highlighted the contrast between the new and the old. The symbiosis with the surrounding buildings of big and small sizes emphasized the sense of “collage”.

– TEAM_BLDG Architects

The Village Apartments Photographs

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

City integration - THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Balconies detail

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud


© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Balconies details - THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud


© Jonathan Leijonhufvud


© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Apartment interior

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Room and Kitchen

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Text by the Architects

In his book Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World, Doug Saunders points out that the development of the arrival city (also known as the urban village) is an essential part of the urbanization process. It may be the birthplace of the next wave of economic and cultural development, or the dangerous place of the next wave of violent conflicts, which needs to be adequately handled.

Guangzhou is the only first-tier city where a large number of urban villages still exist in the city center. As of 2016, according to incomplete statistics, there are 304 villages in Guangzhou, with a total area of 716 square kilometers and a population of nearly 6 million people. Just like the area where our renovation project is located, due to its excellent location, a large number of migrants still flow in every year. However, most of the residential buildings they live in are dilapidated, facing the urgent need to improve their living environment. A severe lack of funds and intricate surroundings are the biggest obstacles to the renovation of these old apartments.

In this architectural renovation, we hope not only to solve a problem but also to explore a reproducible template to provide an additional solution for this old urban village area.

Bustling Urban Village

As the central urban area with the smallest space and the highest population density in downtown Guangzhou, Yuexiu district still has a lot of urban villages, remnant areas slightly disjointed with the high-speed urbanization. The renovation project is located in a well-known urban village at the Siyou Second Road in Yuexiu District.

The residential buildings in the urban village are the matchbox type corridor houses built in the 1950s and 1960s. There are many additions and structures at the façade and inside of the building to meet the new user needs, t. With its excellent downtown location and convenient transportation environment, this area is populated by a large number of young office workers. While enjoying living in the city center, they also want to pursue comfort and design, so that they are eager to improve the living environment.

The residential building is located in an excellent position, with a bustling urban trunk road in front and the Siyou meat and vegetable market, the only market in the urban village. The essential stores, such as food, groceries, and hardware, stand in the market. Nearby, there are two other residential buildings with very similar interior structure. The unique texture of the bustling and noisy urban village was our first impression when we just arrived at the base.

The owner hopes that through the transformation of the facade, we can get rid of the old and dirty impression of the urban village and establish the benchmark image of the long-rented apartment brand. Meanwhile, it is hoped to improve the internal space, so that the apartment will not only meet the living comfort but also make use of the public space to carry out activities and enhance neighborhood interaction.

“Lose weight,” The New Facade Language

As the front connecting the city with the urban village, how the transformed facade increases the degree of integration to link with the city and maintain cohesion with the community is one of the critical demands for the facade reconstruction.

We studied and communicated about the punching method and proportion of the aluminum plate on the facade. After repeated testing, we chose the wavy punching aluminum plate to wrap the façade extending from the two ends of the atrium to the exterior.

We strived to echo the punching pattern with the splicing mosaic of the original building facade, to “reduce the weight” of the entire building through the semi-transparent covering layer and lighting fixtures, and meet the heavy traffic outside the house by the lightsome “rhythm” and jumping volume division.

The Village Apartments Plans
Floor Plan

Floor Plan | © TEAM_BLDG

Floor Plan - THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

Floor Plan | © TEAM_BLDG

Facade layout - THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

Facade Axo| © TEAM_BLDG

Facade layout detail - THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

Facade Layout | © TEAM_BLDG

THE VILLAGE Apartments in Guangzhou / TEAM_BLDG

Floor Detail | © TEAM_BLDG

The Village Apartments Image Gallery

TEAM_BLDG was founded in 2012 by Xiao Lei and Wang Jun. The two founders of the studio consider that the word “BLDG” is a verb that reveals the meaning of architecture. Therefore they are interested in the construction process, and they focus on the “atmosphere” of the space.
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