Typology is a core concern of architecture. Localized and displaced alike, type should be valued for its formal and spatial quality rather than functional associations, which enables it to be referred to abstractly and subsequently recomposed to produce enigmatic qualities.
To destabilize typological familiarity is the thesis of this project. Designed from a critical analysis of type, this public condenser combines the traditional Chinese mud dwelling and the courtyard house while preserving their shared characteristic of a central community space. Taking form of the circular drum from the mud dwelling, this space is shared by its occupancies yet inherently self-contained. In an effort to open up this introverted community space, the sloped roof as sheltered buffers have been introduced. The roof bridges the interior drum with the exterior rectangular skin, and shifts directions occasionally to unveil the drum to its larger urban context. Overall, the design offers a new, enigmatic notion of type by bringing together the formal structures of Houstonian and Chinese references.