Design studio NEXT Architects completed an apartment complex inspired by the famous local 'seal-stone' or 'shouxi-stone' of Fuzhou, the capital of the Fujian Province in China. Meandering balconies flow around the main building volume, creating a wide variety of individual residential units, each with a uniquely-shaped outdoor space. The architects fought against the typical apartment complex layout with rows of identical spaces by creating a U-shape, with a central community "living room" in the center.
With a floor area ratio of only 5.0 to 1, the architects decided to create a U-shaped volume to maximize individuality within the space. The building provides 400 apartments varying in size from 45 to 110 square meters. In order to provide unique living units and avoid repetition, the architects decided to create undulating floor plans and manipulate the balconies around the building.
At the center of the building is an open “living room” that acts as a community space for apartment dwellers. The 48,000-square-meter Fuzhou Shouxi building was awarded the Gold Medal Chinese Architectural Housing Design Competition 2012.