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01 trento

February 2008
July 2008
Danguiyuan
China
residential
356000 mq
Cibic & Partners

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DANGUIYAN PROJECT, CHINA

The project of draining a swampy area in Danguiyuan province (China) called for a subdivision. About eighty villas were to be planned, all of them patterned on a matrix of Chinese origin. For this purpose, the classic contrast between a regular and a random pattern, such as are typically found throughout China on window screens, was chosen as a generative basis. A virtually infinite variety of house patterns, ranging from modest three-room to lavish layouts, can be developed, altered and expanded without breaking their mould.
A traditional staggered roof system proved particularly apt for a great variety of individual configurations. It was derived from manuals of Chinese carpentry.
The interest of this exercise lies in the possibility of turning tried-and-true construction methods to new ends without denaturing them or merely indulging in superfluous ornament. On the contrary, useful consequences can be drawn from this effort in an attempt to refresh Western practices and preoccupations with standardized design, for regular and random patterns reveal a common matrix without ever duplicating one another.