More Than Arch Studio
Zhangzhou, China

The Flowing Garden presents itself as a fascinating exploration into the utilization of contemporary materials and construction techniques to forge a residential space that effortlessly marries modern stylistic elements with a traditional and spiritual essence. The proprietors of the garden are a pair of brothers, each with their individual familial living spaces, united cohesively through a leisurely common area designed for gatherings, meetings, fitness, and various other activities. Although each section serves distinct purposes, together they meld into a singular, organic whole.

Credit: The Flowing Garden by More Than Arch Studio – Architizer

While the southward land provides a scarcely obstructed, albeit mesmerizing view of the ocean, peering through a dense woodland, the remaining three sides of the property lack noteworthy landscapes. Consequently, the design emphasis has been strategically placed on the internal courtyards. These courtyards serve dual purposes: they enhance environmental conditions and artfully create a natural delineation and transition within the space, effectively blurring the demarcations between architecture, interior, and landscape.

An elegantly constructed central pond yard establishes itself firmly between the leisure and residential segments. The residential area is then symmetrically bifurcated into two separate units, thereby generating a ‘negative space’ that naturally crafts a ribbon-like courtyard intertwining between them. Every bedroom is granted its private courtyard, and innovative sunken courtyards ensure that even the subterranean spaces are bathed in natural light and well-ventilated, achieving a spatial quality parallel to that of the ground floor.

Credit: The Flowing Garden by More Than Arch Studio – Architizer

Employed primarily due to its suitability for the coastal weather, particularly considering its durability, fair-faced concrete emerges as the chosen building material. Upon unifying and simplifying the materials, an interesting spatial shift occurs: the building, now subdued, allows the space itself to take center stage as the protagonist of the architectural narrative. Once the planting reaches completion, the courtyard space undergoes a fundamental transformation. The concrete walls metamorphose into curtains, dancing with the shadows of the trees. The progressive growth of the vegetation concurrently weaves a tangible link between time and memory, aligning seamlessly with the owners’ aspirations of bequeathing this space to ensuing generations, thereby also embodying an exemplary model of ecological sustainability.

In summary, The Flowing Garden, while epitomizing modern design and construction methodologies, retains a deeply rooted connection to traditional and spiritual elements. Through thoughtful design, meticulous planning, and a harmonious blend of materials, the space navigates between being a backdrop and the main character in its own narrative. It stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity and the potential for modern spaces to forge meaningful connections through time, ensuring that the echo of its creation is felt by generations to come.

Credit: The Flowing Garden by More Than Arch Studio – Architizer


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