Peach Hut Community Center / ATELIER XI

Peach Hut Community Center / ATELIER XI

© Zhang Chao© Zhang Chao© Zhang Chao© Zhang Chao+ 24

  • Architects: ATELIER XI
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  55
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2020
  • Photographs Photographs:  Zhang Chao
  • Design Team:Zhu Zhu, Huang Jiajie, Wang Xingyao, Xu Lvbao, Wang Weiguo, Tian Di, Wen Weijian, Cao Suying, Han Xiao, Xu Zhiwei
  • Clients:Xiuwu County
  • Construction Documents:Li Jianhui (architecture), Su Zhimeng (structure), Gan Bin, Xiao Liangmin (MEP)
  • Lighting Consultant:AURA Lighting Design Consultant
  • City:Jiaozuo
  • Country:China
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© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

Text description provided by the architects. In the beginning, the architect received the original commission to design a 300-square-meter public building for facilitating the county’s culture and art education in Xiuwu, Henan. However, considering the vast serving area (630-square-kilometer county area) and the difficulty of traveling between scattered villages, the architect came up with a proposal to divide one building into a series of miniature facilities in different locations so as to better serve local communities.      

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

The long-term drawbacks of remote rural areas include insufficient educational resources, inadequate information access and scant aesthetic imagination. Thus, community leaders and the architect seek for an aesthetic approach towards rejuvenating these communities. Through these minimal architectural investments, the project aims to inspire sensibilities of local residents, to help them enjoy and rethink life quality, as well as to alleviate isolation and poverty.

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

These cast-in-place concrete miniatures are interpreted into a series of tree-shaped spaces with tentacles reaching out for the sky, bathing in light and shadow. Their locations vary from fields, woods, to mountaintops, and their forms differ as well: while one grows out from the ruined walls in an abandoned village, another embodies a floating theater on the water.

Site Plan
Site Plan
Elevations
Elevations

The construction of the seven units is divided into two phases with the first phase consisting of Periscope (a vernacular theater), Observatory (a beverage bar in a peach tree farmland), and Bent House (a communal library) 

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

"Peach Hut", the first completed miniature pavilion, is surrounded by a field of blossoming peach trees in farmland. The trees on the site which all lean to one side, which inspired the sculptural form of the architecture. The architect envisions that the building is cut from a series of invisible arcs derived from the earth and the cloud, forming a unique shape that rises to the sky.

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

In the Peach Hut, all windows are of diverse shapes, responding to different views and light angles: the large floor-to-ceiling window on the second floor allows viewers to jump over the peach trees and overlook the panoramic view of the farm; the round window frame on the south side rotates along the central axis, and captures dynamic imageries of the orchard under the subtle variation of daylight; the vertical windows at the corners lengthen the depth of field from the orchard to the village at far; the shadow resulted from the skylight changes at every moment; and the entrance corner window is made as a quarter circle resembling the stooped peach trees, thus resonating with the picturesque land.

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

Impressed by the peach blossoms on the site during the first visit, the architect decided to coat the building with pink cast-in-place concrete. After repeated field tests, the architect and the construction team eventually found a formula that met the desired color and concrete strength. The exterior concrete finish is cast with small wooden formwork to outline the contour of the curved geometry, and the interior finish is cast with a smooth formwork to better reflect the skylight from above. In early morning, at noon, dusk and night, the pink concrete wall reveals different colors and qualities based on the changing light conditions.

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

The architect hopes to leave a few marks on the building that belong only to this piece of land. Therefore, a bronze wall sconce and black steel door handles are designed with the outline of the building; and a relief tree is cast on the concrete facade with customized formwork, orientating towards sunrise to the east.

© Zhang Chao
© Zhang Chao

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Project location

Address:Xiuwu County, Jiaozuo, Henan, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Peach Hut Community Center / ATELIER XI" 01 Oct 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/948797/peach-hut-community-center-atelier-xi> ISSN 0719-8884
© Zhang Chao

桃屋 / 一树建筑

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