Overseas NO.55: Jun Deng

Name: Jun Deng / From: Kunming, Yunnan / School: Rice University / Office: CAZARCH

Project Specs


A bosom friend afar brings distant land near. The Oversea album shares the lives of Chinese living abroad with all. The No.55 episode is about Jun Deng, who graduated from Rice University and currently working at CAZARCH.

oversea 55 - cv


Why go abroad?


Architecture has been my dream since childhood. Unfortunately, I studied Civil Engineering at college. But my attachment to architecture is so strong that I chose to study it abroad. Another major reason is to expose myself in different cultural environments, from which I have learned tons of new things, ideas.


Is there anything happened impressed you the most abroad?


I had some unforgettable talks with some awesome people on Tokyo’s subway, Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dong, and New York’s Avenue.


What do you miss the most about China?


China means something stable for me, even though it has been greatly changed during the past few years. It’s always great to speak Chinese, since to me it’s more spontaneous and intimate. I also miss my family and friends. Growing up and growing apart is sad but beautiful.


Will you come back? Why?


I will. Largely because of my interest in urban environments. China is of great potential on this respect. I’d like to be a participator.


Is it more distinct to view China in a different environment after going abroad? Any thought?


I’d rather argue that abroad experiences teach me to think of China from multiple perspectives. I’d like to use food as an example to share my thinking on this subject. I used to believe that Chinese food was the most delicate and healthy way to cook. But when you are exposed to a foreign environment with millions of exotic foods, it needs courage to step forward. It also needs effort to learn a lot things from the very basics. However, I believe these are all rewarding. During my stay in Houston, Tokyo, and New York, I was bombarded by all the new food experiences, including new ingredients, dietary plans, and food history. After all these, I learned to appreciate what I used to belong to, but also to positively adjust what I am living in. By hindsight, it’s too easy to make conclusions before carefully understand the overall landscape of certain issues. Since reality is complicated and unpredictable often times, now I’d try to listen before I can make any conclusions on things related to China.


What are the educational characteristics of your school?




Rice School of Architecture is quite small. Its size and scale thus distinguishes us from other bigger schools. Most famously, undergraduate program is a six-year program. It has a preceptorship program, allowing students to work for a year at internationally renowned firms after four-year study, then come back for another academic year to earn their Bachelor’s Degree of Architecture.

For graduate students, we spent a whole year preparing thesis projects, including one semester for pre-thesis and another one to produce actual projects. Students usually work closely with their thesis advisors, which is largely indebted to RSA’s size.

Due to its size, Dean has great influences on its curriculum. During my study, RSA has been focused very specifically on the relationships between public/private, city/architecture, theory/practice. RSA has suggested its interests for diversity as new faculty members have been showing up in recent years.


What are the characteristics and interesting points of you firm?

CAZA是一个在布鲁克林的小型设计工作室。在建筑之外,我们也与哈佛设计学院前院长Peter Rowe在城市设计上合作。公司在美洲和亚洲都有项目,同时由于规模小,每一个员工都要面面俱到,对于自己锻炼很大。

CAZARCH is a small, young, and energetic design studio in Brooklyn. We are a small think tank doing idea-making, architecture, and urban design. CAZA is also in close collaboration with SURBA, an urban design studio founded by Peter Rowe, former dean at GSD. We are always exposed to diverse design requirements due to our international projects in America and Asia. Its small size also requires us to learn more and faster.



Who is your favorite artist (in wider range such as art, music, movie)? What is the influence?

Donald Judd。在毕业后,曾与几个朋友一同开车去位于德州西部,只有几千人的小镇Marfa。在纽约时期之后,Judd将他的工作室建立在了这一位于德州西部的广袤荒原中。Marfa的气质不仅与Judd的作品契合,也深深影响了他的艺术。他的作品拥有强烈的新鲜感。尽管他使用很多词描述他的作品,例如定点场所装置(site-specific),及无用之物(useless objects), 但与我而言他的作品中最吸引人的是通过组合及改变熟悉的日常物品所创造出的不熟悉感。

Donald Judd. We had road trip to Marfa, a small town in West Texas after graduation. It is also where Judd established his studio after his New York period. Generally, Marfa is located in the vastly open deserts in West Texas, which greatly fits and influences Judd’s work. His work has a strong sense of freshness. Many words have been used to describe his work, such as site specific, useless objects, etc. For me, his work is very attractive in the way he creates unfamiliarity through grouping and tweaking familiar daily objects.


What amazing character do your works have?


Personally, I think my work volume shows my growth in the past few years. What’s exciting of architecture lies in its inclusiveness and openness. I’d like to explore more in the coming future.


When did you start to follow gooood? Any suggestions?


I’ve been a reader of gooood since college, and have witness gooood’s growth in the last few years. I appreciate the control on both the quality and quantity of published works. I also like your simplistic website design. Wish gooood will be better in the future!




1. Four Incubators in Shenzhen
Academic Thesis at Rice University
Advisor: Albert Pope
Fall 2014



The unprecedented speed and scale of China’s recent city building calls for a new model of development that responds to these extraordinary circumstances while also accommodating the new and diverse “subject positions” that it produces. As one of the Special Economic Zones, Shenzhen’s development from a small fishing village to a megalopolis of over 13 million in 30 years reflects China’s economic success and its concomitant urbanization. Because of its remarkable scale and speed, Shenzhen has become a fertile site for innovation and entrepreneurship. Being the site of many successful hi-tech companies, it’s also the base for numerous startups comprised of young and entrepreneurial workers.

Middle Space is a 1.3 million square meter complex which features four start-up “incubators” located in Shenzhen Hi-tech Industrial Park. This project introduces an alternative to the sprawl of segregated residential and office buildings (mostly slabs and towers) that are now being built in the city. This arbitrary division of living and working is strangling the start-up culture upon which any high-tech economy depends. Middle Space responds, not only to the fracturing of this vital culture, but also accommodates the diverse programs and individuals that operate within it. While Middle Space forms a single complex, the whole gives way to its four distinctive parts, each of which supports the others. The incubators constitute four experimental sites in which specific live-work models are reinvented to accommodate the various needs for individual live spaces and collective work areas. By negotiating the relation between urbanism and architecture as well as between collective and individual occupation, Middle Space projects an alternative model for not only Shenzhen, but for the new urban China.

▽ 项目轴测图 Project Axon


▽ 基地与功能  Site and Program


▽ 四个孵化器  Four Incubators

03_Four incubators

四个孵化器是四个实验性的居住办公场所。四个变量被用以定义可能的居住办公模式。开放封闭用以描述个体与城市间的联系, 个体集体则反映了不同工作间的合作程度。 四个孵化器藉此定义了个体居住与集体办公对于空间的不同需求。中途旅社服务与外界密切联系,具有高度流动性的个体。第三代工厂则为高度链接,但集体工作的群体服务。翠林院同时满足了个体对于封闭工作空间以及集体生活的需要。思空楼则为独立工作且追求最大化个人空间的个体提供可能。

Four incubators are four experimental sites that specific live-work models are reinvented. Four values are used to define the possible live-work models. Open and Closed address the relationship between city and subjects, while Individual and Collective reflect the different natures of working mode. Four incubators are thus designed to accommodate these various needs from individual live areas and collective work areas. Nomad Hotel is to accommodate the need of individual subjects with high mobility and close connections to the city. 3.0 Factory is designed for collective individuals who collaborate, exchange, and are highly connected. Forest Monastery offers the possibility of both living independently and being within a larger collective sphere. Solo Towers is for individuals who seek the largest individual sphere while work mostly by their own.

▽ 地面:四个独立的 “孵化器”   Incubators on the Ground


▽ 地下:一个高度一体的综合体  Complex underground



中途旅社 Nomad Hotel



Work J offers work space and daily necessities for its residents. Connected to MTR, Work J enjoys not only the convenience of fast commuting, it’s also plugged into a larger flow of consumers that is essential for small business

Various unit options are available in Migrant Slabs, offering live space for people with high mobility, whom maybe migrant workers, or families living in Shenzhen but working or schooling in Hong Kong.

06_Nomads Hotel


第三代工厂 3.0 Factory



Work Pie features open, continuous collective work space encouraging exchange and communication. Floors are stacked vertically, with openings in the middle, mixing programs and interacting views. Basement is designated for light manufacturing. Surrounding Work Pie is a dynamic recreation field. With its gridded infrastructure, various activities could be accommodated. Labor and recreation are mixed to enhance work experience.

Efficiency slabs and live towers are mixed to meet various needs. It’s a social experiment to mix people of different income levels. Efficiency slab is designed to be economically affordable and architecturally livable. Live towers offer various units accommodating singles and families.

07_3.0 Factory


翠林院 Forest Monastery



Work Ring is a compartmented circular building that offers closed work spaces. Surrounded by North Hill, Work Ring is connected by three bridges on the ground level, ensuring its independence from outside. A green agora, which is at the center of the courtyard, steps down and offers collective space for individuals from closed offices cells.

Efficiency slabs and live towers are mixed to meet various needs. It’s a social experiment to mix people of different income levels. Efficiency slab is designed to be economically affordable and architecturally livable. Live towers offer various units accommodating singles and families. 08_Forest Monastery


思空楼 Solo Towers



Blue Void, a reflection pool with Zen garden, celebrates the essence of emptiness. It is where individuals collect themselves mindfully. Individuals, such as artist, writers, musicians, who look for isolation from others thus to focus on their creation, could relax in here. A sunken path is carved inside the pool. With its heights mildly sloped down and up, individuals walking on it can appreciate the changing nature of life.

Live Work Towers are highly flexible for multipurpose uses. Individuals, such as artists, could easily transform their living space into a small studio. While for generation that is more digitally connected, such as C2C on-line shop owners, they could turn it into their online business base.

09_Solo Towers



2. Void Strategy
Academic Project at Rice University
Advisor: Albert Pope
Spring 2014




As one of the earliest and most successful new town developments in Hong Kong, Sha Tin is characterized with its transient, fragmented organization, which are developed in the last four decades on the lands reclaimed from sea. As a product of pure engineering and government decision, Sha Tin lacks not only a city center, but an overall urban strategy, which could define itself as a whole. This situation is worsening because of short-sighted reactions to population growth.

This project is located in Tai Wai, which is the historical center of Sha Tin. After decades’ development, traditional urban fabric (Tai Wai village, one of the oldest urban villages in Sha Tin) and large scale developments (Festival City, the most recently finished real estate) coexist. Shing Mun River, which flows in the middle of Sha Tin, also starts from Tai Wai. Tai Wai Station is where two MTR lines intersect and the start station of a new line linking Sha Tin and the Central. As planned, a new real estate project will be constructed on the site next to Tai Wai station. Instead of leveraging canal’s potential to connect Sha Tin and transforming Tai Wai into a coherent whole, this proposal will further segregate and fragmentize Tai Wai.

Void Strategy takes an opposite approach. First Tai Wai Ring will be built to strengthen and connect zones segregated by freeway. Then Tai Wai Station will be expanded into a transportation hub and civic center. New Sun Chui Estate will be developed to replace the existing public housing estate built on 1980s, 48,000 units will compensate developers but also accommodate low-income groups. By taking this three-phase development, Void Strategy suggests an alternative model of development. It will also serve to unite Sha Tin as a whole by recognizing and fixing its reality.

▽ 基地平面图 Site Plan

161221 plan


Tai Wai Station is the only intersection where two MTR lines meet. After decades’ development, different urbanisms are in dialogue with others. Besides Tai Wai village, one of the oldest urban village in the New Territory, Festival City is the tallest private housing estate in Sha Tin. Shing Mung River, a canal pierces the center of Sha Tin, also starts from Tai Wai. Tai Wai is also home to many public housing estates including Sun Tsui Estate.

▽ 大围现状 Tai Wai



A new real estate project is being planned on the lot south to Tai Wai Station. This short-sighted proposal aims purely at the economic output, which will worsen the fragmented reality of Tai Wai. Void Strategy, an alternative proposal, aims to transform Tai Wai into a coherent whole and leaves room for comprehensive development in the future.

▽  一种替代性的方案  Solid Strategy vs. Void Strategy



第一期:大围环岛 Phase I: Tai Wai Ring


Tai Wai Ring will strengthen the connection of Festival City, Tim Sam Village, and further the incoming development at Tai Wai Station and existing Sun Chui Estate.



第二期:新大围站 Phase II: New Tai Wai Station


New Tai Wai Station will be the intersection station of two MTR lines. Empty lot between Shing Mun River and existing Tai Wai Station will be developed into the start of proposed Sha Tin Ferry Terminal. A proposed sunlit roof system will provide covered public space for civic plaza, bus station, proposed gallery space, and two existing MTR lines.



第三期:更新新翠邨 Phase III: New Sun Chui Estate


New Sun Chui Estate is developed into home to 4,800 units (both public and private), with facilities including commercial center, office tower, public school, kindergarten, religious space, community gathering and open green spaces.

A spine connects New Sun Chui Estate to New Tai Wai Station, all the programs mentioned above extend off the spine, forming a tree-like organization.


▽ 平面图 Oblique Plan




3. Sharing Tower: Micro Unit Housing Tower in New York City
Academic Project at Rice University
Advisor: Troy Schaum
Fall 2013



As a proposal for micro-unit housing in New York City, this project exploits the possibility of sharing economy, and how could it be realized architecturally. It aims to redefine housing in our age, when demographic shift, technology, and new economy are transforming our city. In New York City, the migration of youngsters from suburban areas and retired aged population bring challenges but also opportunities for housing. Sharing Tower responds to this challenge by exploiting the potential of module, material and sharing spaces.

This project starts with three modules, which are made from reinforced resin winding around steel structure. These three modules define a 15’x15’ grid system and enclose translucent private spaces for individuals. Based on the grid, modules are further aggregated into different unit types for the sake of different needs, satisfying both singles and families. Duplex structure is designed for each unit to maximize the use of space and to enhance the potential of programs. In between the translucent resin walls, house-shape voids are home to collective spaces such as communal kitchen, shared balcony and study. By positioning in between translucent private spaces, these house-shape voids connect and invigorate private spaces. Sharing Tower is not merely more affordable because of all the shared facilities and spaces, it is also more interactive and vigorous, which are crucial for both youngsters and aged people. On the ground level, cafe and small business incubator are serving all the inhabitants and the city. This project operates on the edge of minimum living and maximum possibility. By examining this limit, housing regains its power as an agency to define individuals and thus define our living environment.

▽ 项目轴测图 Project Axon


▽ 模块和结构 Module and Structure


▽ 剖面透视 Perspective Section


▽ 首层平面 Ground Floor Plan


▽ 标准层平面 Typical Floor Plans

05_Typical Floor Plans

▽ 顺时针方向:居住工作空间,书房,孵化器,共厨房,咖啡屋  Perspectives Clockwise: Live Work, Study, Incubator, Communal Kitchen, Café.




4. Event Tent by the Sea
Professional Project at CAZARCH
Team: Carlos Arnaiz, Jun Deng, Libo Li, Laura del Pino
Oct. 2015 – Jan. 2016


Manila is a coastal metropolis of 13 million people that has turned its back on the water. The event tent attempts to redress the absence of an active and accessible urban waterfront. The structure works with tessellated forms making both a field and an enclosure. We designed hexagonal roof units out of folded steel plates. Units with different types and heights aggregate, defining both the boundary and covered space, offering spaces for multipurpose activities. Colorful hexagonal and semi-hexagonal concrete pavers connect this project to its site, of which it is inspired. The project represents the idea that contemporary culture is looking not for singular monuments but for a swarm of incalculable images.

▽ 项目鸟瞰图Aerial View @CAZARCH


▽ 首层平面图 Site Plan @CAZARCH


▽ 为多功能活动提供活动空间  Multipurpose Activity @CAZARCH

03_Multipurpose Activities

▽ 展开立面图 Unfolded Elevation @CAZARCH


▽ 地面铺地系统  Ground Tiling System @CAZARCH


▽ 单元结构 Tent Structure @CAZARCH


▽ 多功能活动:夜间音乐会 Night Concert @CAZARCH


▽ 多功能活动:晨间市集 Morning Market @CAZARCH


When: Since 2011
Where: Houston, Tokyo, New York
Who: Jun Deng,邓钧
From: Kunming, Yunnan
School & Firm: Rice University and CAZARCH
Contact: jun.deng.arch@gmail.com


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