Text description provided by the architects. The Yuhu Elementary School Expansion Project in the UNESCO World Heritage site in Lijiang, Yunnan, China is a community service project. The project is intended as a response to the local vernacular architecture through the basic comprehension of environment, social and building conservation. Appropriate to the unique site and the complexity of the subject matter, the investigations were conducted through multidisciplinary collaboration, probing into spatial conceptions in the domains of folklore, materiality, geomancy, ecology and finally architecture.
The purpose is to identify a general notion of framework for the indigenous/ vernacular sources and elements of spatial concepts, which are manifested and established throughout history of the region. Hence various aspects of the studies which include historical studies on building form, materials, social background, environmental conservation issues, building management and construction have been conducted. The uniqueness of the design lies in how local material, technology and space were transformed into fresh contemporary architectural language yet constructed by the locals and integrated with the existing community.