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The past 40 years of rapid urbanization in China witnessed the hollowing-out evolution in the disappearance of millions of natural villages. As ecological protector, cultural heritage, and a highly livable environment, rural settlements have been underestimated and neglected in its resourcefulness and values. The natural humanistic values of rural settlements need to be reactivated through new production cycle and lifestyle. Shanghai, having the highest GDP in China and being a world-famous metropolis, is also facing difficulties and conflicts between its urban and suburban composition. Those living in the city are constantly under the pressure of high living costs, when the declining of rural communities and human settlements in suburbs is happening at the same time. A retired electrician, Lao Song, needs to take care of his old mother, who lives in the Fengxian countryside. However, his residence in the urban area of Shanghai cannot provide comfortable and independent living conditions for the elderly, who cannot acclimatize herself to the narrow dwelling of the penthouse on the highest floor. The Lao Song couple dreamed of returning to their hometown in Nansong Village from the urban area of Shanghai, to demolish their dilapidated house, and to rebuild a new house suitable for both the elderly and the young. In order to help relieve the living pressure of their daughter and son-in-law, Lao Song and his wife thought about inviting the parents of their son-in-law, who are in bad health conditions, to return to the Fengxian countryside together with them and take care of each other in their old ages. For this to happen, the families almost spend all of their savings as normal working-class. This house also embodies the beautiful imagination and anticipation of a relaxed rural life for this families of eight. View more View full description
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