Reinterpretation of the Waterside Village

Urban Design

Project Notes

Group Project

Design(60%) &  Drawing(40%) & Modeling(40%)

8 weeks/2016

Benjamin Krüger

This project is aimed at reconstructing contemporary urban tissue by the interpretation of original waterside village and modern restoration. Manage to explore another possibility for urbanization, by means of creating the characteristic connections between public space and water area. 


My Work   



​Problem Focus



Mutual Relationship


Jiangxin Island is in Yangzi River, which winds though Nanjing. The main town of Nanjing city lies to the east of it, and to the west are new districts.



In historial vicissitude, Jiangxin Island has gone through remarkable changes from depopulated zone to agricultural land, from traditional waterside villages to modern upscale residential district.

​Basics of the Island

Its original water cultural connotation and unique village texture has faded away along with the process of modernization construction. The island is losing its natural texture in favor of more artificial traces.

Historical Scenes

More village fairs took place in traditional Chinese village. The condition of the people was one of local self-sufficiency and houses were tend to be low and next to each other, leading to intimate relationships. Acquaintance society created more interaction and communicaton between people.

Traditional Chinese Village

Recent Traditional Village

Recent traditional villages function as agricultural products bases affiliated to cities. Compared to the modern cities, they were backward and  lack of transportation. The ignorant and uninformed situation impedes development, but also contributes to the reservation of  original culture and customs.

Past Nanjing

Confucius Temple, East Zhonghua Gate are typical neighbourhood of  traditional Nanjing. Sences of old Nanjing in momery has been partly recorded and vividly demostrated there, making them famous tourist attractions up to now.

Current Nanjing

With the tremendous growth of population indensity, traditional villages disappeared  in favor of the expansion of majestic mansions and skyscrappers. The City of Nanjing has been losing its characters gradually and going to be a menber of stereotyped full-developed  modern city. 


​Design Concept

Functions Based on Different Building Density

Interaction with water area to create distinct public space

Based on the research on texture of original villages,  distribution of water area, form of architecure and model of residencial, in addition to, consideration of diversification and integration for futural development, I divided the site into four areas of different buliding density. Water area plays an essicial role to reinterpretation the site. Each area can be activated by distinct combination and interaction between water area and public space.


Generation Process

Function Division

Building intensity serves functionTwo or three story buildings are served as matrix.

Traditional  courtyard space and texture of village are constructed vertically in high-density area.

Then shift and stuck minimal elements to develop distinct forms of architecture satisfying diverse functions, demonstrating the image that villages integrate into novel city. Meanwhile, create abundant communication space and landscape space.



Research buildings are connected by water and gardens, providing abundant outdoor entertainment area.

The workshop area creatively utilize the texture of traditional waterside village- building along the river,

ensuring the both communication and privacy.

There are green land and foot planking outside the dike, near Yangzi River, offering buffer area for flood.

Water system is also induced into super high-rise buildings to create hanging gardens with scattered platforms.


Final Design

Visions of the Future — Contradicts and Integration


The integration of tradition village and high-density city can develop a brand-new model for commercial center, research center and so on.

It's not impossible to realize a new possibility of the coexistence of both via an innovative urban design method.

Reflection and Prospect — New Possibility for Urbanization


What is the future of urbanization? It still a meaningful problem worth reflection and exploration.

Nevertheless,  now we know that counter-urbanization does not deserve to be called the only effective answer. Integration of village and city can also provide an outstanding solution to improve current situation.

While other options are available, we should persist the exploration.

Urban Environment Sensing

Data Visualization

Other Works

Rendering & Photographing