Chaimiduo Farm Restaurant and Bazaar

Chaimiduo Farm Restaurant and Bazaar

This is a renovation project. The property was originally an abandoned office facility located at the center of Dali old town, including a traditional Bai style timber building, a bungalow made of brick and concrete and a 200 sqm courtyard. The property has been rented by a local lifestyle brand “Chaimiduo” and renovated into a farm restaurant, a farmer’s supermarket, a gallery for local handicraft and space for “Chaimiduo Bazaar” that opens once a week.

The idea of the renovation is mainly about redefining the courtyard’s four different sides using ad-hoc strategies. A second floor is added to the bungalow at the north side of the courtyard, with a traditional Bai style tiled roof (responding to the design code of Dali old town). An irregular shaped steel pavilion extrudes into the courtyard, connecting the restaurant interior with the courtyard space. The pavilion is wrapped with bamboo to emphasize its volume and to filter sunlight for its interior. The bamboo façade is operable towards the courtyard, allowing more interaction during bazaar hours. The bamboo facade also extends upward and becomes the banister for the terrace. The profile of the banister is tilted, directing the spatial orientation towards the preserved upper floor facade and tiled roof of the neighboring timber building.

The timber building was constructed according to traditional methods. We demolished the partition wall on the ground floor and also the timber doors with wood lattice. The space of the ground floor therefore opens up to the outside. We also added to the facade a system of bamboo sliding doors and then the openness can be adjusted. The bamboo system hides the original timber columns andintroduces a new appearance responding to the transformed open spatiality. While canceling the reading of the traditional image on the ground floor, this new façade also highlights the more refined details of the preserved facade of the upper floor and tiled roof.  

The southern side of the courtyard is the main entrance to the whole property. We added a wedge shaped pavilion to redefine the entrance space. It provides shelter and also transforms the spatial sequence. Bamboo is used here as the ceiling and can be visually related to other bamboo facades and create a more unified impression. 

The west side of the courtyard has an iron fence with lush local ivy that provides the property with a soft and semi-transparent protection. We simply added a wide timber platform that covers the flowerbed and can be used as a long bench and a place for children to play during bazaar hours. 

Songyang Zhangxi Brown Sugar Workshop

Songyang Zhangxi Brown Sugar Workshop

Xing Village is the main area for sugarcane farming and brown sugar production in the Songyang region. This is also the main economical income for its villagers. Yet the only three remaining workshops at present are in poor conditions, thus expected to be integrated by a new construction.

Located between the village and the farmland, our design focuses on creating a space both for the functional requirements in its production and the live performances and presentation of brown sugar manufacturing. Unlike a traditional factory aims solely on production, this workshop showcases the village tradition and culture, thus might also serve as a live museum for the visitors. While it benefits the economic revenues, at the same time a space for social communication blurs the boundary between architecture and farmland.

Taiyang Organic Farming Commune

Taiyang Organic Farming Commune

This project is located in the western mountainous area from Hangzhou, which is a natural village with 140 peasant households. The main part of the building material is bamboo grows in its original site, and pebbles picked from the rivulet. The craftsman named Chen is the eldest son of the farmer in this area, other workers and materials chose are all local. During the design process, animal behavior was studied while rotational grazing and site were planned in the same time. This pig barn is designed with special dormitory, feeding area, outdoor toilet, external field and swimming pool. Excavation is no longer needed on the field, a self-stable structure which seems like a big bird landed on the stone parapets, was completed by giant bamboo. Thatch picked in mountainous area nearby was first knitted by villagers under the commune’s call, and then hanged onto the roof of this bamboo structure by the workers.

The henhouse is built on the compacted flat ground between small agricultural reservoirs at the end of the valley and the north hilly area, the shallow foundation of which is formed by uniformly inserting tiny wood into the ground. With the use of bamboo, a platform is built on the wood foundation top, and on which placed two 8X8 bamboo unit structures in the formation of an open and sturdy structure. Quickly and easily built bamboo roof create stability for the whole construction. The interior is tall and roomy covered densely with bars, which allows the birds stay on it.

Since seasons changing through the year, thatch is impossible to harvest all the time, whereas bamboo can be found everywhere, thus people could switch to bamboo tile for roof building. Each bamboo is divided into two pieces for making this arc-shaped bamboo to natural tile, people just need to pierce the bamboo joints, and this half piece of bamboo becomes an ideal tile in a row. Each bamboo joint on those bamboo tiles are cleaned by craftsmen with hammers to make the front and back of bamboo tiles buckled together. The roof of the whole structure is filled with more than two hundred bamboo, and with no chemical materials for water proofing.

Cloud Village

Cloud Village

Archi-Union Architects from China have created a rural community center in Dao Ming Town supported by a 70% pre-fabricated timber frame structure. The center is a configuration of two patios covered by a Mobius roof finished with traditional ceramic tiles. The project is simultaneously futuristic and traditional in its approach.

The center is located in a suburb of Dao Ming Town, Chongzhou Contry, well known for its extensive tradition of bamboo-weaving. As the first demonstration project in this rural area, this center is for the purposes of hosting bamboo-weaving craftsman events, providing a hub for cultural sharing and for accommodating other multi-function activities.

Archi-Union Architects began this project with an intention to extend traditional craft and an inspiration stemming from an ancient Chinese poem. The work attempts to integrate new life generated by the activities at the center with the original site, the surrounding villages, and natural ecological resources.

“Building can only try to start a dialogue with earth, while plants belong to the earth. We were trying our best to maintain everything, and keep the most stay still,” said principle architect Philip F. Yuan.

People will have a strong feeling of Chinese poetic beauty when entering the building. It shapes space in a Chinese Garden way. Layers and transparency create an interaction between people and light.

Traditional materials are used in an intelligent way throughout the project. Since traditional bamboo-weaving was not appropriate for the architectural structure, it instead appears as a façade texture wrapping the exterior of the building. Similarly, clay, ceramic, timber and tile have all been applied with sensitivity where found suitable.

This community center is also an avant-garde exploration of how to integrate new construction technology with local craft in the era of digital humanities. The project integrates parametric design, traditional construction techniques and contemporary prefabrication industrialization. The high efficiency afforded by pre-fabrication made the 52-day construction period possible. In that time all the main building construction, interior and landscape site work were completed.

“We actually need to bring something urban and futuristic to our countries, instead of simply imitating, if our future countries industrialized factories can be equipped with advanced industrialization approaches and instruments, like robotic construction and digital industry, it would certainly rouse a significant industrial upgrading. We can already foresee it in this project.” – Philip F. Yuan. 

Shitang Internet Conference Center

Shitang Internet Conference Center

The trend of modernization and urbanization in  rural development inevitably requires the introduction of new types of functions. As multi-functional buildings with large space, the Internet conference center is one of them. Taking the commune auditorium and the vegetable greenhouse as the original form, Shitang Village Project in Jiangning tries to reconstruct public buildings in a rural context.

Efforts have been made to rapidly build a system through industrialization, bringing in the technology of pre-fabricated super slender column structure, selectively applying suitable technology to eliminate the existence of weakened and materialized buildings and  restoring the primitive feeling of rural villages, hence having conducted a rejuvenated construction practice in an extremely short construction period of time in rural villages.

The Capain's House

The Capain's House

The Captain’s House locates on the southeast end of Huangqi Peninsula, Fujian Province. The damp and erosive nature of seaside caused the unsafety of the existing structure and large-area water leakage during over 20 years of use, which, of course, become the main design issues to be addressed. Furthermore, the captain hopes to add a third floor to the existing structure which can accommodate their current lifestyle.

Our design work starts with the study of structural reinforcement. After a series of careful comparisons, we decide to add a layer of 12cm concrete wall to the original brick masonry walls. This strategy brings us extra potential to make a better quality of space.

Layout: The intervention of the new concrete wall allows us to re-manipulate the layout to some extent. Both of the original bathrooms at the first floor and the second floor are moved from the sea-viewing side to the side close to the neighbour, so that the living room, dining room and master bedroom get not only better view but also more natural light and fresh air.

“Window-furniture” System: The locations and forms of openings also get carefully reconsidered. The new concrete window frame sticks out from the outside wall, which prevents excessive rainwater from seeping into the window from the wall surface. The thickness is then designed into “window-furniture” system: window is no longer a simple opening, but serves as a medium space situating between nature and the interior space.

Vault: We choose vault to be the structural form of the third floor. It reduces the possibility of water leakage to an extreme for it barely allows any rainwater to stay. Vault is directional. It connects two sides of sea with dramatically different characters: one being the serene sea whereas the other one being the noisy port. This added floor serves as a multifunctional living space: it accommodates visiting family and friends and functions perfectly as a gym or an activity room as well. Additionally, since the captain’s family is Christian, this space is also intended to be a family chapel.

At dusk, the gentle light comes out from the translucent glass blocks. We hope the house gradually becomes the carrier of emotion for the captain’s family, and gives deserved dignity and decency to the daily life of ordinary people, which is particularly meaningful under the current circumstance of China.