Sprawling concrete complexes can easily spoil a verdant landscape, but Vector Architects skillfully avoids visual catastrophe by topping this community center with a massive green roof. Surrounded by lush mountains in southwest China, the Chongqing Taoyuanju Community Center is blanketed with plants, from vine-covered walls to the undulating green roof that mimics the hilly topography. The Beijing-based design studio further reduces the building’s environmental footprint with the inclusion of a rainwater collection and reuse system, passive ventilation, permeable pavement, and locally sourced materials.
The Chongqing Taoyuanju Community Center comprises three different programmatic buildings—a cultural center, athletic center, and public health center—located at different elevations to match the existing terrain and to minimize site disturbance. A continuous, undulating green roof unifies the three buildings into a single 10,000-square-meter volume that blends the development into the mountainous landscape and improves the buildings’ thermal mass. The roof, which creates covered walkways in the gaps between buildings, is punctuated with rectangular and circular openings that make room for trees to grow and for natural light to shine through.
“Openings, windows, cantilevers and corridors blur the boundary between the interior and exterior of architecture,” write the architects. “Thus, merging the whole space together with the sky, mountain, trees, sunlight and breeze can eventually create a lively co-existing relationship of artificial structure and natural landscape.” The green roof also frames two courtyards and the existing water body that was retained and turned into the central pond.
Images via Vector Architects