For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Stefano Boeri Architetti presents Slow Food Freespace, the first Slow Village to be constructed in Sichuan, China. Made in collaboration with Slow Food Movement, speakers Stefano Boeri and Carlo Petrini discussed the project at the event “Across Chinese Cities - The Community.”
For the Slow Food China project, Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed a school, a library and a small museum for the villages involved, free of charge. The program attempts to encourage millions of Chinese farmers to stay in their rural districts, combatting the unprecedented emigration to cities which has grown in the last few years. By offering educational facilities and cultural landmarks to these rural communities, it inspires the preservation of local culture and acknowledges the importance of the agricultural economy.
“We easily forget that the rural areas provide sustainability to our daily lives,” explained Stefano Boeri in Shanghai during an invitation from Anhua Chen, Project Leader of Slow Villages Co-Building. “It is an inevitable necessity of architecture to confront the speed of evolution while also feeding it with the richness of the past. For this reason, we have proposed to enhance the agricultural villages with a system of small but precious catalysts of local culture, able to improve the lives of the residents.”
The school, library and museum become three cultural centers that can act as catalysts for the construction of more facilities and cultural spaces in these disconnected regions. They also promise economic benefits through Chinese and international tourism. The project interprets architecture as a “porous territorial device,” able to reactivate the rich and diverse history of rural Chinese communities.
“Preserving the rural environment means protecting the cultural diversity,” confirms Yibo Xu, Shanghai partner of Stefano Boeri Architetti. “Significant efforts have been made in the latest decades in China with regard to the urban questions, and in the future greater attention should be paid to the versatility of expressions, traditions and patrimonies of the countryside.”
PartnersStefano Boeri, Yibo Xu
Project DirectorPietro Chiodi
Project ArchitectsClaudia Scaglioni, Moataz Faisal Farid
Design TeamHuang Zhiyang, Jiang Linhong, Krista Skujina
Graphic ContentCecilia Picello
PR and CommunicationDong Li, Gong Ting, Xie Ying
CollaboratorsLifang, Sebastiano Conti Gallenti
PhotographsCourtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
News via: Stefano Boeri Architetti.