Revitalization of antique architecture in the countryside is critical in a fast-developing country like modern China. In the last ten years, fast-built universal concrete houses emerged rapidly, occupying the once picturesque countryside. While this type of architecture is economic, and easy, it lacks characters and intrudes the harmonic landscape. Nowhere is this more evident than the Bapan village in Guizhou Province in southern China, home of the Bouyei (Buyi) people who are one of the oldest ethnic peoples in China. Bapan village is abundant with unique ancient culture. The seniors preserve the lifestyle and traditions dating back hundreds of years since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). They live in houses built with authentic elements using ancient techniques of the region. Therefore, the recent concrete houses pose a bizarre conflict to the vernacular architecture and its environment. How could architecture adapt? Bapan village calls reconsideration of ways to inherit its cultural values.
Through rigorous analysis and engagement with the local community, a site-specific, environmentally just proposal provides the opportunity to redefine the social and cultural qualities of the Bapan village. This proposal strives to rescue and revitalize the deteriorating antique house at Bapan Yard No.2 with minimal intervention. Through remodeling the space, repurposing on-site materials, replace decayed parts and replenish its ever-present spirit and energy, the design is intended to be light-handed, environmentally sound and affordable. This is a pioneer project of a series of Bapan poverty alleviation projects and a prototype of reconciling traditions and modernity through architecture.
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