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D+C Studio: Everyone has identical personality and appearance, unique background, and sensation, as well as the scope of adaptation. The site is just the same. It is vital to understand the character, appearance, background, and adaptability of the site to release its distinction and to create huge value. The fingerprint terraces start from the base, ingeniously integrate the farming culture and the local culture, and use the techniques of earth art to create a surreal visual landscape.
▼梯田夜间灯光秀 Terrace light show
The Yi terraces, namely fingerprint terraces, are a paired project of Evergrande Group’s to assist Dafang’s cultural tourism project of ‘Targeted Poverty Alleviation’. Shexiang Ancient Town is located on a barren terrace in the north of Dafang County, 3 kilometers away from the high-speed railway station, which can reach Guiyang in 1 hour. The town is divided into three areas: resettlement area, commercial area, and public construction supporting area. The cultural and tourism commercial area is distributed in a ring from south to north on the ridge. The outer area is the resettlement area, and the inner “depression” is the project location.
The site is a karst limestone landscape, which has thin soil, lack water, unable to remain water, and lack planting cover. The topography is high on all sides, low in the middle, nearly 500m long from east to west, 240m wide from north to south, and 170m at its narrowest point. The overall height is raised from the East and gradually reduced to the West, with a height difference of 24m. The highest point is on the east side, with a height difference of nearly 7m from the commercial frontage. The lowest point is close to the municipal road on the west side, with a height difference of nearly 17m. The height difference between the high point and the low point is 48m. The dramatic topography makes the cut-and-fill impossible to hide the ravines and gradually rising up terraces. The grand scale and complex topography are a great challenge.
▼场地现状 The current situation
Terraces are the product of agricultural civilization. Guizhou is mountainous terrain with fewer flatlands, leading to the cultivated terraced fields on the beautiful mountains. This is a beautiful and interesting impression of the city. The design is inspired by the “the terraces on the plateau”. At the same time, Shexiang Ancient Town is an accurate targeted poverty alleviation project. Most of the people who relocate here are farmers in the mountains and have feelings for the land. Through “the terraced fields”, a familiar design element of the land symbols, farmers who relocate here have spiritual sustenance and a sense of belonging here.
The topography is relatively complex, arranged in a wave-like staggered manner, rising eastward. When we took over the project, a large amount of earthwork had been backfilled on the site. We have a goal to retain the base structure, which is the only resource available on the site. With limited supporting funds and a large amount of stone excavated from the mountain, we used local materials, built retaining walls, conserved water and soil to prevent soil erosion, changed slopes to terraces to build a safe base structure, and reshaped the spirit and connotation of the site, utterly regenerate the site and reviving the “Guizhou Impression” in people’s memory.
在地文化 Local Culture
The design is integrated into the culture of Guizhou Tusi Culture——Mrs. Shexiang of Guizhou Xuanweishi in the Ming Dynasty presided over the excavation of two post roads connecting all parts of the southwest while traveling through the Shuixi, aiming to promote the economic and cultural exchanges between Shuixi and the Central Plains, and enhance national unity and the country unification, known as “Nine Stations of the Dragon Field” in history. The design adopts the method of “one building and one station”. On the cascading terraces and winding mountain roads, archways, pavilions, corridors, stone bridges and other buildings are established. According to the changes of the mountain topography, the high platform builds pavilions, corridors surround the pool, and bridges fly over streams. It is a miniature “Nine Stations of the Dragon Field”. One end is Longchang Station and the other is Bijie Station.
▼驿站分布 Station distribution
大地艺术 Earth Art
There are many ways of terraced fields. We adopt the technique of earth art to process each level of contour into a retaining wall. Each level of retaining wall represents one level of terraces, with more than 40 levels stacked. Going down the stone steps to the middle of the site, people can see a tall tower standing on the ridge at the west. The terraces on the right side are rising up, and the trees on the ridge are receding. The terraces are directly connected to the sky. The terraces are like the work of the Chinese American artist Shen Weiwu, which is solemn and glory. The pavilion and gallery bridge undulates from west to east along with the stone steps. According to different needs, tea, crops, flowers, and garden plants are planted in the terraced fields.
At night, the dazzling lighting of the commercial street echoes the lights on the terraced fields. It is like a world of sparks.
The fact that people be reluctant to follow the designed route is unexpected. They are more willing to find fun on the stacked terraces. The retaining walls of the terraces are 1 meter high. On the retaining wall, people are passing or taking photos with Yi girls. The design did not consider the passage of the terraced retaining wall, which is the curiosity of tourists giving it new functions to looking for more beautiful views. This is an unexpected surprise, enriching the perspective and content of the terraces.
设计的意义和价值 the meaning and value of the Design
By restructuring the site, integrating culture and art, constructing the core resources of cultural tourism projects – Yi terraces, attract people, gather popularity, combine supporting industries and facilities in characteristic towns, build an industrial platform, and promote local characteristic industries and related economic development (lacquerware, gastrodia, soybean products, etc.), solve the employment of relocated residents, and fundamentally solve the problem of poverty alleviation. Since the project was completed in 2017, through TV, media, and self-media reports, Dafang has become the new tourism business card and industrial development platform besides Baili Dujuan. Shexiang Ancient Town has now become a national AAAA-level tourist attraction and a newly popular tourist attraction in Bijie, Guizhou.
Project Name: Ancient Yi Terraces in Shexiang Ancient Town, Dafang
Project location: North of Dafang County, Guizhou
Project Type: Cultural Tourism Project
Landscape area: 12ha
Design time: 2016
Completion time: 2017
Owner: Evergrande Group
Landscape Design: D+C Studio
Photograph: Qiu Wen Architectural Photography—Qiu Ripei
Company: Shenzhen D+C Studio Co., Ltd.
Company Address: 11Q, 11th Floor, Fengye Building, Nanyuan, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Contact: Mr. Yang
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