Apartment Blossom
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Authors: Li Han, Jin Qiuye

ISBN: 978-7-5669-1835-2

Publisher: Donghua University Press

As the second volume of Urban Studies Degree Zero Series, Apartment Blossom is a documentation on various balcony renovations of vernacular apartment buildings in Beijing with a collection of exquisite architectural maquettes. Due to the extreme weather conditions, the balconies in Northern China are usually enclosed by their owners. But by their eclectic approach to enclose the balconies, the owners have also made those balconies the highlights of the boring façades of the apartment buildings that are originally composed by repetitive standard units. The selected balconies in Apartment Blossom are both special and ordinary, which altogether form a brief imagery history of local balcony enclosure in Beijing for the past two or three decades.

Apartment Blossom further explores the concept of Degree Zero. Although those balcony maquettes are originated from real life, from the minute when they become maquettes, which is more important, being the subject of a maquette itself or being the object of a representation and documentation, becomes an interesting topic. A variety of maquettes are discussed in the book, from dollhouses treasured by girls to the artist’s concept of “extreme maquettes”, from traditional miniature carving craftsmanship to toys in the vintage shop, providing the readers with a different perspective to appreciate the miniature world of maquette. The book is designed by renowned graphic designer Guang Yu also as a challenge to the concept of Degree Zero in book design. The book is first considered as the carrier of paper, image, text, type area, and binding. The carrier of information comes to the second.