We have all been living in a COVID 19 bubble for the last six months so the new residential project designed by Spanish architect Vicente Guallart is certainly apt for these uncertain times...
Winning first place in a competition to design a new urban typologies for Xiong'an New Area run by the local government, the project which is presented under the title "The Self-Sufficient City", explores the premise that prevention is better than cure.
"Our proposal stems from the need to provide solutions to the various crises that are taking place, in order to create a new urban life based in the circular bio-economy," said founder Vicente Guallart, a former chief architect of the city of Barcelona.
The residential project located on the outskirts of Beijing, China centers around four residential blocks which comprise of everything from residential homes, offices, swimming pools, shops, food markets, kindergarten, administrative centers, and a fire station ensuring residents have the opportunity to live, work and rest in a closed environment should the need for a lockdown ever occur again.
Sticking to a self sufficient model all the residential buildings will be covered by greenhouses that allow for the production of food for daily consumption with the sloping roofs used to produce energy via solar panels. Additionally on the ground floor, there will be small, co-working digital factories for 3D printers and rapid prototyping machines that can produce objects for daily use.
The four blocks will be mixed-use providing different sized residences for young and old people, families and singletons.
Public gardens and orchards planted with butterfly-friendly flowers would help sustain biodiversity, and to further welcome nature into the city, each apartment would hav its own birdbox and shelves for swallows to nest in.
To create the Self-Sufficient City model, Guallart Architects merged a traditional European courtyard-style city square with modern Chinese housing towers, interspersed with greenhouses with the buildings made from cross-laminated timber, as a renewable wood resource.
Whilst the city has been designed to be self sufficient 5G connectivity to the outside world would still be available with 5G connectivity provided as standard in all a apartments.