Tianjin/Haihe, Residential blocks in Tianjin concession areas (1900AD-1949AD)
Residential houses were one of the commonest types of buildings in Tianjin concession areas. There are two main types: neighborhood buildings in lane and villa. In the construction process of these residential houses, there was plenty of exchange of ideas in cultural and technical domain.
For the buildings which mainly focus on neighborhood in lane, there are many similarities with the Chinese ‘Hutong’ and ‘Lane’ layout. This type of housing emphasized the establishment of a comparatively quieter zone in the city, but with the concerns about communal space. Inside these lanes, there are basically two areas: one for public programs like children playground and recreational zones for the elderly, and one for private dwelling. One distinctive feature of the lanes is the creation of intermediate space for transiting between the public and the private. This was extended greatly to be an indispensable concern for later residential building construction. There were also the setup of front and back garden. The front is mainly for planting while the back is for handling chores. This strongly echoes with the Chinese traditional layout.
Fig. 1.1 Section and elevation of typical neighborhood buildings in lane, Tianjin
Another type of residential buildings was the villas. These villas diverge in their building styles in accordance with their locations, varying for British, to French, to Germen, and even to Spanish. Common features for the villas were the extortionate use of decorative patterns and ornaments for the buildings. They were built in a bigger scale in comparison with neighborhood buildings in lanes, and there are fewer economic concerns of space and program arrangement for the villas.
Fig. 1.2 Section and elevation of a typical villa, Tianjin