The Islands, Beijing (Chine)

Beijing Basic Housing Sample designs – Towers (« Attrape-Nuages » & « The Islands »)

China today has a considerable need for social housing to receive new populations coming into urban areas and to allow millions of inhabitants to live in comfortable modern conditions. The need to build rapidly and on a large scale presents numerous social and environmental risks; a solution that seems adequate to today’s needs may prove to be a mistake in 10 or 20 years. And whereas cities take centuries to be built, growth on a modern scale can change them more in one generation than in the preceding 10 centuries!

It is imperative to reflect on the concept of the modern city by putting people at the core: taking into account culture and history, integrating sociological dimensions, and optimizing all parameters environmental, etc. Stress, time lost in transport, pollution, and reduced cultural and human relations should not be the price to pay for material well-being.

Taking the time to create a well conceived plan is the first step towards a qualitative concept of the habitat, though the exercise of imagining pertinent solutions in so few days was a stimulating one for our company. The 2000 housing units represent, over a period of 40 years, a billion hours spent in the future buildings!

It is an enormous responsibility, and excellence on the part of both the architects and the promoters of the project is necessary.