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This project is designed for a multi-family residence in Suzhou, a historic city which was established in the 11th century BC and now serves as a focal point of trade and commerce in China. As an urban center with over 10 million residents, the city makes a great effort in preserving the old city fabric and historic architecture from the original downtown area. The goal of this design is to bridge the ancient architectural form with modern living and carry the city’s 

cultural significance to everyday life. Architecturally, this doorscape has three arch openings in the exterior wall, similar to the ancient city gates that structured the old town. The middle arch 

has an engineered wood pivot door as entry point while the two on each side are textured glass windows. The wood door is clad with wood cubes to create subtle texture and shadows. The jamb is custom fabricated metal with stepping arch form to emphasize the heaviness of the wall as well as creating a direction towards the other side.


Inside, seating arrangements are placed at the windows for informal meeting and waiting. In front of the door there is a vertical clay tile wall with an arch opening, which translates from the shape of the entry door. The glazing in the opening is coated differently on each side: mirror on the door side for residents’ final touch up upon leaving, glass on the stair side for visual connection. This circulation wall functions as privacy layer for the residences and an 

object to divide the flow.


On the exterior, a clay tile canopy is extended out from the door into concrete paving coming from the garden. This area not only protects the door from the elements but also serves as a place for pause. On the sides of the porch, wood railings echo with the wood door and landscape beyond. Flower trees are planted at the windows to create a poetic spot at this entrance, giving people choice to deviate into the landscape while lending itself to the interior 

through the textured glass. The overall scheme uses a simple yet thoughtful material palette to create a tranquil zone at the moment of entering and leaving. The textured wood door and its bronze metal jamb share the same tone of warmth. The exterior canopy and interior circulation wall are both textured by stacking the traditional clay tile, sharing both material and form to

blend the inside and outside.

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