ADS5: Camping in a High Rise

Jia-Ying Chiu

Jia-Ying is a Taiwanese architectural designer. Graduated with honourable mention from Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tamkang University in Taiwan. The undergraduate design thesis won the competition of International Exhibition of Architecture Graduation Design (Taiwan 20) and exhibited with architecture graduates from Sendai Design League, the University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore in 2013. She mainly contributed to old building renovation, residential design, and public scale projects for the council and public organisations.



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Degree Details

School of Architecture

Trailing: An Alternative Inhabitation for Urban Nomads

Trailing: An Alternative Inhabitation for Urban Nomads

‘Trailing: An Alternative Inhabitation for Urban Nomads’, is attempting to seek a potential residential alternative for high-rise living in London in the future.

What if our living space is composed of ambiguous and elastic spaces - how would the living style merge into the dynamic urban context and how would people inhabit the building?

According to the research of camping, the configuration of the campsite consists of tents, gadgets, as well as the natural conditions, such as trees, rocks, and terrain. Generally, there is no static pathway between the tents. Simple forms and materials are utilised to define one’s territory without establishing any fixed programmatic intention. The investigation of camping evokes the possibility to reconsider the essential elements of ‘the living space’ and the necessity of an ambiguous space, like that of the campsite.

The project is driven by the connectivity and blurriness of space and circulation connected by slabs, read as steps as well. Two areas of circulation as the main walkways are created in the building to bring a ceaseless experience. Therefore, residents can interact with each other spatially through these blended gaps and platforms between inhabited units. The walkways convert to become a series of rooms, blurring walkways, flexible spaces through scaling up those conventional architectural elements, allowing more activities to regenerate a new living quality.

The simple structural skeleton frames a flexible and uninterrupted space. The stepping platforms elegantly integrate green and community activities into the building, promoting more welcoming spaces and neighbourly environments in the city. As for travelling between interconnecting platforms, more communal areas are generated for people gathering on continuous terraces. Raised platforms have replaced the partitions to maintain the purity of terraced space in an open plan. The sense of transparency in the apartment also brings the atmosphere outside-in and creates exceptional living conditions. The temporary separations, continuous openings and terraced slabs shape a new spatial language and the flexibility of urban living. ‘An Alternative Inhabitation for Urban Nomads’ enriches the spatial hierarchy and spatial needs, leading to a vibrant and meaningful urban life.


Lightweight Structure
Urban Living
Camping Research

Camping Research — There is no clear pathway between the tents in campsites. Simple forms and materials are utilised to define one’s territory without establishing any fixed programmatic intention. The investigation of camping evokes the possibility to reconsider the essential elements of living space and the necessity of an ambiguous space of the kind in campsites.

Raised Steps Instead of Walls as a Flexible Home — Wall or partition is one of the elements we need in architecture for separation, privacy, and management. Nevertheless, the concept of the project is removing walls to create an open plan in the public and the individual room. The configuration of the open plan allows urban nomads to modify and design their individual room particularly according to the needs of the short-term stay.

Perspective - Open Plan

Series of Rooms

Perspective - Series of Rooms — The generously glazed openings are aligned with the concrete steps. they provide more natural daylight inside and ventilation into the interior space, while preserving the privacy of tenants by using curtains in certain places. The temporary separations, continuous openings and stepping slabs shape a new spatial language to remain the flexibility and the privacy of space. Likewise, the views and the spatial speeds are changing by the continuous terraces.

Apartment Perspective

Perspective - Apartment — Compared to the standardised housing, these alternative concepts of urban living upgrade the quality of the tenant's life. The big glazed openings offer spectacular views of London city to create exceptional living conditions.

Typical Floor Plan


Drawing, Interior Render, photo

Less Connections and More Spaces

Perspective - Public Space — The green and community activities flow into the building from the ground floor by two blurring walkways to create a more welcoming and flexible public space. About the main circulation spaces, two entrances set at corners diagonally on the ground floor and two lifts serve to all porches in the building vertically.

Perspective - Standing on the Urban Landscape



Perspective - Gathering Spot

Ground Floor Plan

Section — The public accessible facilities are acrossed four continuous terraces for the community, including a cafe, bookshop are placed on the ground floor, rental studios and a yoga room are on the second terrace, as well as a gallery and lecture hall are located on the third terrace. Some of the circulations are connected to multiple levels as a role of shortcut accessing the public spaces, which enrich the spatial hierarchy and spatial speeds.

Building in Context


Drawing, Interior Render

RCA Models PS copy

RCA Models 60 PS



MG 1008

IMG 4237


Aluminium Channel, Paster, MDF


44x120x210 cm
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