New designs centred on the 'Three R’s' of regeneration, restoration and relevance
Guojiagou village is located in a hilly scenic area in Ji County surrounded by a number of mountains and famous tourism attractions, and has been serving as family hotels operated by the local farmers. The client, the Ji County government, proposes a revitalisation plan derived from the following concerns: increase local income and revenue; improve residents' living conditions and minimise the potential damage to the environment.
UDT's comprehensive development initiative is extremely relevant to the community. The innovative strategy is to utilise and renovate the existing buildings, without demolition or relocation. Each house is upgraded and enlarged to make space for more rooms for paying guests. In the built scenario, the primary economy will be tourism, a green, sustainable industry, and the village will function as the accommodation and service centre in the whole large tourist region.
The planning effort was initiated in 2011 and the first phase of construction is nearly complete. The planning and design services UDT provided include master planning, community and site design, civil engineering, landscape architecture, architecture and interior design. It is a new urbanisation solution aimed at preserving the local culture and its historical architecture, remediating and insuring the ongoing protection the natural environment and creating a diverse and sustainable economic base with a village-scaled and eco-tourism economy.
Supported by local materials, local construction techniques, local architectural language and landscape palette, the existing village courtyard houses are being renovated into guest lodging with restaurants or retail shops, to serve the needs of a contemporary eco-tourism program. Thus the traditional northern Chinese architectural style has been preserved, as well as the original cultural characteristics.
Integrated with local context and community, new structures have been built for a village cultural centre and entrance welcome center, totaling 2,000 sq m. To enhance the user experience, the interior design varies from traditional style to compatible modern style - both are at very high quality, creating 'evolved' traditional Chinese courtyard houses.
A series of relevant tourism activities are proposed and publicised. Sustainability has been also achieved by innovative renovation of the existing structures for energy conservation and by the use of local materials. The civil infrastructure has been upgraded for water management, non-motorised transportation. The landscape is eco-friendly by utilising local materials and indigenous plants.
Once built, it will dramatically improve the quality of the village itself and local residents' lives, attract more tourists by its unique culture, environment and high standard services, and eventually build a new landmark for the whole region.