The Architects in Missions (AIM) recently announced the winners for their 2012 architecture competition with the topic, “Shengsi Islands: Renewing China’s Traditional Village Lifestyle.” Participants were challenged in guiding the island villages toward a diversified economy through sustainable tourism development. Over the course of this society’s development, the unique fishing village, its products, and its lifestyle, represent a cultural resource that cannot be replicated. Awards were given in the categories of scenic village planning, architecture renovation, sustainable development, innovation production, and a special award. More images and descriptions of the winning entries after the break.
Fionn Byrne & Kyle Xuekun Yang
Climactic, environmental and anthropogenic changes to the area are combining to place significant pressure on the resource base of the islands. Any future planning, sustainable development strategies or outside investment must recognize that the continued future success of the islands is predicated on a robust ecosystem. Augmenting, monitoring and establishing new habitats in a range of ecotypes to support the biodiversity of endogenous and endemic species must be a priority.
The success of the Shengsi Islands as a shipping port is due in large part to their siting, but also to the standardized and efficient methods of the modern shipping industry which makes use of a modular intermodal container. This seemingly obvious statement can be passed over quickly, but perhaps there are lessons here to be learned. Millions of containers move globally between different modes of transportation and infrastructural systems but share one of two standardized dimensions. However, their modularity is also adaptable enough to allow them to contain a vast assortment of products and goods.
This design provocation seeks to answer what it would be like to occupy such an infrastructural Eco System layered over a pre-existing scaled grid. A series of architectural inventions then test how different ecological and economic goals can be achieved by modifying available resources. By so doing the system is better able to adapt in three distinct ways. Firstly, it delivers a platform for renewable infrastructure expansion, able to rest among shipping and navigation routes. Secondly, it provides a foundation to local ecosystem restoration; protecting habitat from damaging storm surges and mitigating ecological loss due to rising water levels. Finally it adapts to fluctuating market and seasonal interest by its ability to expand and shrink by adding or subtracting units, giving it a high level of resiliency.
Another advantage of adapting a pre-existing modular system is the already established local familiarity with the product and the ability for local industrial equipment to manufacture, deliver, install, and upkeep the modular units. In so doing a local workforce is made relevant to future development and limited new training is required to acquire skilled labor.
Although the deployment of the Eco System grid around different islands is essentially the same, its growth is tailored to suit each specific condition. While Shengsi and Huanglong are further developed as tourism destinations, Huaniao, Gouqi and other small islands are preserved for their natural value. Exclusive and highly personalized modular hotel units can be installed on the ocean gird to provide a unique experience that can be found nowhere else.
Architecture renovation award: Boji Hu & Yang Zhao
In the past, we transform our living environment in this way—using pop elements to replace everything out of time. But soon, the flashy comes down to extinction, and people begin to feel repentant. In this case, we hope people can freed from the way of space transformation. Instead, use germination as the way to build the linear relationship between the old and new space.
As time pass by, the old stone house can hardly carry the demand of people’s growing need of space. Under this circumstances, we retain the original stone house and street, at the same time, develop the residual negative space—In order to reduce the intervention on the original building. Thus, the integral history is shown to people.
Design plan: Space reflects the past
The original stone house and streets are retained and activated as an abstraction retention of geographical cultural. In more levels, expanse the existing labyrinthine space, making the original horizontally aligned functional space into three-dimensional. In the vertical level combine the transporting space, communicating space, private space and landscape space, accommodating people’s group behavior with the form of a semi-open space. Moreover, fully expand the feature of streets as a living room, providing more opportunities for cultural exchange between tourists and local residents. Lastly, create the overall landscape platform in the newly constructed roof which is combined with the terrain in the newly constructed roof to provide the best view.
Material reflects the past
During construction, traditional stone craft is widely used, supplemented by concrete to ensure the strength. In this way, later retrofitting and renovation is possible. Villagers are encouraged to reduce emissions of waste in the construction process. In addition, they put useless tanks, roof tiles and other artifacts masonry in new buildings, making the carriers of memory integrate into the building as material. Thus, the whole village becomes a park that carries unforgettable memories.
Innovative production award: Huan Zheng & Zhe Chen & Wenwen Lu
Taking advantage of Gouqi Island’s geographical environment for aquaculture and landscape, fishery and tourism are regarded as a twin-engine, the interaction of which leads to a new system including eco-aquaculture, village style buildings. ‘Productive’ and ‘Seascape’, as the key point of the design, are combined with a series of spatial programs related to both fishermen and tourist. Tourist will experience village lifestyle on island through unique tour route which is generated by developing local fishing industry.
The main requests of fishery and tourism on Gouqi Island include enriching species, by-product processing and seafood sales exhibition for fishery, transportation, accommodation and recreation for tourism. After analyzing the coastline edge condition and tour route condition on the island, the Dawang beach area will be transformed to tourist center focusing on tourism development with small part of aquaculture, while the Gouqi beach area will be renewed as production center focusing on aquaculture with tourism elements.
In order to solve the problem of mussel shells pollution, ‘the Road of Mussel Shells’ is designed as a new corridor with shells as pavement after treatment, connecting the tourism center and production center. The tourism center includes new complex of hotel, restaurant, drying area and sales exhibition, reconstruction of part of the village, water park and aquaculture. New buildings are constructed by local stones, generating wave pattern on facade. The production center includes fish reef, seaweed, mussel and fish aquaculture, educational tour and underwater experience. Combining production and sightseeing, a positive cycle is generated with both fishery attracting tourist and fishery driven by tourism.
Scenic village planning award: Euric Thor & Meng Hng Ho
The Village Collective is an urban scheme which imagines tourism rejuvenation of the Shengsi Islands through the collective networks and cooperation of the villagers and the relevant tourism authorities. The project is made out of two main parts: the Village Hub, a communal and tourist hub that is implemented across each main village of the islands, and a Rapid Deployment Pod system, which encourage villagers to be involved in small businesses for the tourism market.
This collective comprises of a multilayered network system across multiple scales: villager between villager, villagers between hubs, village hub between village hub, and island between island. The project is a respond to the both the vernacular architectural character and spirit of the village, fostering the shared and collective effort of the quaint and unique islands.
A ferry system between the islands is the first step in generating a network. To take this to the next step, it is proposed that the individual islands and villages create a tourism specialization. As part of a branding and marketing exercise, each village develops a specific tourist draw. This will create a network of tourist destinations that are different and unique from village to village. For the betterment of the entire archipelago, each village could cross-marketing for one another, by suggesting different venues to visit on daytrips depending on what the travellers would like to do.
Special Award: Pawel Pietkun
The project’s main idea is to activate the bay area of Xiaosi’ao Village, transforming its character from a port to a lively place with functions like exhibition and meeting spaces, market, park, beach, promenade, performance rooms, ferry dock and fishing facilities.
The village is also being covered with a sort of a „farming carpet”, smoothly merging different areas of the village. Roofs and empty voids could be used as a source of vegetables, plants, solar and wind energy. The greens are being grown during the fishing season and collected mostly during summer off-season, being by that a complementary source of food and energy. That could be an interesting opportunity to involve tourists, who stay at local houses, in the process of cultivation and collecting. The new system of transporting/distributing food and products is provided by linking single buildings and groups of houses with a system of tubes. The whole system is connected to the market, which is the main place to buy or exchange goods. There are also local house facilities and markets.