Vertical Mat


This project attempts to retain the qualities of the mat-building, but reinterprets it in the form of a skyscraper. The vertical mat-building takes advantage of the skyscraper’s land-efficiency as well as increased surface exposure to sunlight and ventilation, but challenges the popular notion of skyscrapers as creators of ‘planes of isolation’. 

Advantages for sun, wind and light associated with skyscraper have been exploited and livelihood is sustained by a mix of programs from recreation to commercial found at ground level and within ‘pockets’ of shared spaces around the vertical mat-building. 


The vertical mat-building is a modular hierarchical system with the dwelling unit as the basic aggregate. A double-height communal courtyard linked to shared facilities such as an open terrace act as part of a circulation system which provide accessibility to each unit. Three ‘neighborhoods’ are aggregated into ‘quarters’, and six quarters constitute the miniature ‘city’ which is the vertical mat-building.

Just by rearranging the shared courtyards, a wide range of unit types are produced.

Project Information:


Type: Architecture, Residential, Mixed-use | Location: Boston, MA | Status: Concept, May 2008

Awards: Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design, Harvard GSD