Over a million people have moved to Guangzhou in the past eight years, making the city's population nearly ten million today. This urbanization is the trend of cities worldwide; it makes all the more relevant "Solos: Tolou/Affordable Housing for China", going on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum October 3.
Tolou is a prototype for affordable housing that the local architectural firm Urbanus is trying to spread throughout the city: it incorporates 245 apartments, a dormitory, a small hotel, shops, a gymnasium, library and various communal spaces. It's elegant. It's a study in circles. And it layers the urgency of population growth upon the classic Corbu references it otherwise invokes.
The Cooper-Hewitt will display two full-scale bedrooms, with other areas of the program outlined on the gallery floor and walls to give the visitor a sense of the special relationships in this Chinese approach to affordable multi-family housing.