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The School of Kunqu Opera in West Creek Village / China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C

The School of Kunqu Opera in West Creek Village / China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C

© Haian Guo © Guangyuan Zhang © Guangyuan Zhang © Haian Guo + 29

Renovation  · 
Kunshan, China
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C
  • Area Area of this architecture project
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    杭州合裕竹业有限公司(安吉竹境竹业科技有限公司), 西安鹏航金属科技有限公司
© Haian Guo
© Haian Guo

Text description provided by the architects. West Creek Village is located between urban and rural areas of Kunshan city, as well as between the Yangcheng Lake and the Doll Lake, where the Kunqu Opera and Yu Mountain Culture start 600 years ago. However, with the rapid development of urbanization, the rural areas begin to disappear and a new culture park without any villages left is planned.

Ariel View. Image Courtesy of China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C
Ariel View. Image Courtesy of China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C
Courtesy of China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C
Courtesy of China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C

The local government wants to continue the plan and asked us to design the new buildings instead of the old rural houses. But we persuaded the client that the historical landscape and the villagers should be kept and the traditional culture should be preserved to make the villages revive. The proposal is adopted and a small Kunqu opera school is built over 4 old shabby houses. The opera school can offer a place where children and villagers learn Kunqu opera and can hear the tunes every day, as it might happen days and nights half a century ago.

© Yanzhi Jiang
© Yanzhi Jiang

Bamboo, which represents noble character in Chinese culture, is the most important topic mentioned in the poems of Yu Mountain Culture. Gu Aying described his reading house in his poem “Bamboo grows before the house. Lotus are flapping behind it. Pick the seeds of the flowers in the water. And take a seat in the wind. ” So bamboo is quite an important element used in the project.

© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang

The school is a real light building, which adapts to the site densely covered with rivers and it does no harm to the countryside. Small steel columns and beams are used as the wood railing frame architecture typical in southern China. The roof is made of metal tiles and wood sheathings which can reduce the weight of the roof.

© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang

The walls on the upper floor are bamboo fiber clip walls with light insulation layer inside ; the walls on ground are made up of light heat-preserved bricks covered by white grass mud. Bamboo curtain walls can be seen inside the yards to create shaoy space and a bamboo pavilion can be found from the riverside, under which is the stage face to the water.

© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang
Facade
Facade
© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang

The site is located in the depths of the village and in a river network area with poor foundation conditions. Without using any heavy machinery, the project should be safety itself and to the close neighbor houses, which is only about 1 meter away. The shallow foundation and close columns are adopted for strict protection requirement of the surroundings. All the plants are preserved during the construction process.

© Haian Guo
© Haian Guo

The old broken Chinese-style tiles left in the site are collected to fill the metal copings as the local villagers did traditionally. The lights inside the double-layer hollow brick walls can illuminate the paths in the village in the night.

© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang

No more artificial design except for the 4 yards is carried out. The 4 yards are named by bamboo, plum, orchid and chrysanthemum. Outside the building, crops and vegetables are planted by the local farmers as their will. The high wild metasequoias and thick beds of reeds are kept as before.

© Yanzhi Jiang
© Yanzhi Jiang

It’s a building in order to improve the conditions for the village, which does well in dealing the relationship between the neighbors, the villages. Because of the light structure and prefabricated constructions, no influence is made to the life of farmers nearby. They worked in the fields around the site in spring and autumn, watching the building growing.

© Yanzhi Jiang
© Yanzhi Jiang

They discussed the style and meaning of such a new house that might change their life and they even attended the design of some details, such as the bolts, the handles and the ridges. By such a small project, the local government improves the relationship with the villagers and strengthens the native culture.

© Guangyuan Zhang
© Guangyuan Zhang

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Project location

Address: West Creek Village, Kunshan, Jiangsu, China

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "The School of Kunqu Opera in West Creek Village / China Architecture Design Group Land-based Rationalism D.R.C" 20 Apr 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/892676/the-school-of-kunqu-opera-in-west-creek-village-china-architecture-design-group-land-based-rationalism-drc/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Guangyuan Zhang

西浜村昆曲学社 / 中国建筑设计研究院·本土设计研究中心

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