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.
Archi-Union Architects was Founded by Philip F. Yuan in 2003. In the past few years, Archi-Union focused on the integration of Chinese traditional culture and digital technology. Archi-Union specializes in the practice of computational design, robotic fabrication and architectural industrialization. Meanwhile,
Archi-Union implements digital craftsmanship into many projects.
There are more than 70 designers in the office currently and has practiced large amount of projects in the past decade including Linear House-Jiujiantang in Shanghai, Lanxi Curtilage in Chengdu, Taisheng Garden, Jade Museum, Shangart Gallery on the West Bund, Fab-Union, Chi She, Hefei Bashang Street Mixed-use Project, Shanghai Stomatological Hospital, Songjiang Art Campus, Aux Campus (Shanghai) etc.
Archi-Union has been actively involved in the relevant academic activities and exhibitions such as Hong Kong Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Milan Triennial and many other events.