Leading Edge / Summer 2010
Urban Living

Architecture grads imagine new forms of city housing


Illustrations by Lingchen Liu and Chenglong Wang These unusual looking buildings don’t exist – yet. They are designs by U of T architecture grads Lingchen Liu and Chenglong Wang that were published recently in a special university edition of Mas Context, an international journal about urban issues.

Aware that millions of people migrate to cities each year, Liu and Wang grew interested in new kinds of housing that could fill in a city’s “leftover” sites. Their designs would increase a city’s density without requiring new sites for traditional “block” buildings.

The design on the left imagines apartments forming a canopy over a public space. The one on the right proposes to clad an existing office building with a new “layer” of housing that climbs like ivy up the building’s exterior. “A great diversity of unit sizes and configurations is an interesting result of this innovation,” says Liu, who, along with Wang, graduated from the Daniels Faculty in 2006. They both now work in China.

In its university edition, Mas Context included 50 design projects from students from around the world.


Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by j on June 24th, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

Another thing to consider is light. A canopy-like building over public places would restrict the amount of natural light in those spaces. Think of The Loop in Chicago – the streets under the L-Train tracks are unpleasant in part because they are so dark.

The same thing goes for “ivy” like buildings, which would restrict the amount of light filtering into the buildings they surround, which would also force them to use more energy for lighting.

Interesting concepts, though.

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