Factory 8 Apartments
type Low-Rise Residential
location Guangzhou, PRC
area 18,496 sq.m.
client Guangzhou Hengye Property Development Ltd.
design 2004

The final programme sought to redevelop all three of the original factory buildings into a form suitable for a variety of residential and creative uses - from studios and galleries to live-work units and loft-style apartments.

The key challenge was how best to overcome the limitations of the deep floorplates, which avoided the traditional method of carving out voids at the centre of the building. This was resolved by setting the glazing line back from the edge of each floor, creating continuous garden terraces around the building at every level. To accentuate the effect that the blocks are made up of individual floors stacked one on top of the other, the existing edge columns were enlarged to different widths and the glass line was varied on every floor, angling in and out in some places and with deeper indentations at others.

Like the two earlier proposals, the three factory blocks were united by new two-storey links, but here these were enlarged to create the appearance of a full podium. This impression was enhanced in later proposals by setting the walls for the second floor much further back and creating a deep open space between the roof of the podium and the blocks above. In this form, the podium roof was also flooded with water to create an expansive pool over which floated interlocking �rafts�, like rooms and platforms, creating places where the tenants could work and relax.

The podium itself was set aside for shops and offices, all connected by a central spine that doubles as a multi-purpose space for interaction, forums and exhibitions.

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