Architecture studio Zeller & Moye won the international architectural competition MOLEWA in Ruichang, China with an innovative housing design that sets new standards in low-energy use. Construction to start in 2016.
The ‘Flower Terraces’ sit in the heart of the circular city of Ruichang, China. Referring to traditional Chinese housing motifs, the
Flower Terraces arrange living areas as individual volumes around green outdoor spaces. The individually shaped apartments
let the residents sense that they live in a unique ‘house’, rather than a numbered unit along a corridor. The seasonal warm
temperatures of Ruichang allow for private and communal life to happen not only inside but also outside. The generous
terraces become integral living spaces and an essential and characteristic element of the buildings. Similar to overhanging
roofs in historic Chinese houses, a series of cantilever slabs create protected outdoor areas in front of the apartments. Foldable
wooden shutter elements clad all apartments not only to provide privacy to the interiors but also to protect from direct sun and
to allow natural ventilation across the apartments.
The path through the building is a lively route with open spaces that enhance social encounters. Communal spaces are placed
around the lifts and the open stairs with paths of increasing privacy towards the apartments. Residents of the ‘Flower Terraces’ live surrounded by flowers on each level. Open areas allow good air flow and a pleasant microclimate around the
apartments where residents can plant on their individual private terraces and winter gardens, creating their own private
retreats amongst greenery.
Sustainability is a key element of the scheme providing a comfortable living environment at the lowest possible energy consumption. A 'LEED Gold' rating is targeted by a series of steps including an energy efficient façade with overhangs against direct sun and individually operable shading elements; natural ventilation in all areas; the intergration of low energy LED lighting & a ‘smart home system'; solar thermal panelling on the roof and heat exchange with the ground. Rainwater is collected and reused in the apartments.
'Flower Terraces' is the winner of the international architectural competition MOLEWA (Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture) in Ruichang, China organised by the UIA (International Union of Architects) and the Hua Yan Group. The second prize has been awarded to the scheme, whilst no first prize was given. The design is scheduled to be realised as the heart piece of the further development of the circular city in 2016.