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DAOYUAN：In 2021, I had the serendipitous encounter with Chongqing Dashiba Jiangling Factory. Its winding and somewhat haphazard paths, adorned with remnants of walls, showcased ferns tenaciously growing upwards, defiantly expressing the power of nature. April in Chongqing was gentle, with rare rays of sunshine gently kissing the red brick walls. I found it immensely appealing. The old factory appeared excessively dilapidated, exuding an air of decadence. Yet, for reasons unbeknownst to me, my inner self remained surprisingly tranquil, as if I had been transported back in time.
01 一个大胆的尝试 A Bold Experiment
At first sight, the warehouse appeared remarkably decrepit, but I was pleasantly surprised. To me, it held infinite possibilities. Almost immediately, a wild idea took root in my mind: I wanted to remove the factory’s roof and plant trees inside, lots of trees. I decided to create a “garden” within the weathered lanes of this old street.
▽独角仙改造前 Pre-site renovation
This place has witnessed the transformation of a corner of Chongqing. After Chang’an Factory relocated, the once lively and orderly factory compound gradually faded from people’s memory, retaining the marks of changing times and nostalgia. The contemplation and initial implementation of the DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden project, I hope, can provide a direction—a sort of urban renewal theme, if you will.
▽独角仙的畅想 Design imagination
02 “独角仙”由来 The Origin of “DUJIAOXIAN”
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have often found myself engulfed by anxiety, running through the city built of steel and concrete. I yearned for an oasis within easy reach, a place where I could simply turn around in daily life to instantly unwind my weary body and soul.
03 “自然生长的无序剧场” “An Unordered Theater of Natural Growth”
建筑是剧场的灵魂，它在无序空间里找到自我 Architecture is the soul of the theater; it finds itself within chaotic spaces
In a polygonal boundary space, I reorganized the arrangement of buildings while preserving the largest wooden structure as the main building. By observing sunlight patterns, I repositioned two building boxes to capture the best afternoon sun. Simultaneously, I designed a long corridor square box at the entrance area. This configuration forms traffic routes around the boundaries of the three building boxes, encouraging people to circulate. This layout is the essence, and it creates an intriguing courtyard in the middle, resembling a modern quadrangle-style courtyard.
▽设计轴测图 Axonometric drawing
I believe that in the future, people should be able to stage social scenes like coffee gatherings and leisurely hangouts in the central courtyard. As for the four boxes, I have named them as follows: the Art Gallery, the Old House, One Wood, and One Thing. I will introduce the latter two later.
The Old House is the largest preserved structure, covering an area of 200 square meters. Vertical brick columns extend horizontally to create a sequence of spaces. To expand the roof’s width, I utilized the existing preserved steel columns as structural support, which can be seen as recycling old materials. This extension stretches the roof 1500 millimeters into the courtyard, lowering the roof’s height. My intention was to have the building seen from the courtyard, resulting in a horizontally elongated appearance for the entire box.
▽设计草图手稿 Design sketch manuscript
▽项目鸟瞰 Aerial view
The building was originally a factory with an exceptionally large volume. To mitigate its imposing presence on the facade, I endeavored to conceal its mass. Gray tiles, paired with columns enveloped in black natural wood, create a sequence that extends. The remaining spaces have all been replaced with folding doors. This design introduces a subtle reflective quality to the glass. When viewed from the courtyard, it transforms into a somewhat mysterious box, quietly nestled there, engaging in an intriguing dialogue with the modern courtyard.
▽设计草图 Design sketch
▽消隐的建筑 The hidden building
Directly across from the Old House is the spot where sunlight bathes most generously in the afternoon, making it perfect for tea. That’s where “One Thing” is situated. It extends into a small wooden platform, with a long bar counter inside, set against large windows. It’s perfect for daydreaming; sitting there, you can let your mind wander as you observe everything happening in the courtyard.
▽设计草图 Design sketch
▽建筑延伸的平台空间 The building extends the platform space
Next, we have the building box located on the east side of the courtyard—One Wood. This space plays a vital role in connecting the Old House and One Thing. It also serves as a substantial addition to One Thing and establishes a visually balanced relationship with the Old House. This area is relatively private, suitable for daytime meetings and tea sessions. At night, it can accommodate a long table for over a dozen people for dining. The recessed space on the exterior facade of the building serves as an outdoor café seating area and a relaxed spot for a post-meal smoke and chat.
▽设计草图 Design sketch
▽屋檐下的私密空间 Privacy under the roof
During the design process for One Thing and One Wood, I aimed to maintain a consistent architectural approach with the Old House. I sought to lower the eaves as much as possible and reduce the pitch of the sloping roof. Both boxes appear as if two eyes squinted into a narrow line, evoking depth, tranquility, and a sense of mystery. In contrast to the Old House, I raised the elevation of One Thing and One Wood by 450 millimeters. This introduces some variations in the overall space, providing enhanced privacy for the several boxes. All of these boxes are arranged around the courtyard, interconnected yet individually distinct.
我向自然借了一隅 I Borrowed a Corner from Nature
Nature is a prevalent theme in various fields today, and it’s also a subject I explore. “As If Naturally” is what I consider the highest tribute to nature, emotionally speaking, it’s the perceptible “power of natural growth.” With a color palette reminiscent of the deep, forest-like dark green and a combination of naturally textured materials, dappled light and shadows that occur almost by chance… They form the initial essence of what I envision for the DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden. I hope it’s a place with a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere, where everything unfolds organically and effortlessly.
“情景交融，物我合一” “Harmony of Scenes, Unity of Self and Objects”
这几年“宋式美学”大火，衍生出的新派茶馆和国风民宿风头日甚。我寻思这贩卖的既不是茶叶本身，也不是具体的某一个器皿或者家居，正是一种——东方语境下的现代生活美学。最初设想独角仙花园时，我提了几个关键词：美学/物集/沙龙/私宴，很多人说我是否忘了这本质上是一家餐厅，私宴该提在前头。但是，我做这个项目的本心，更多想表达的是 —— 人在园子里可以发生很多故事和情景。我希望来的客人，能被园子的真诚打动。
In recent years, the “Song-style aesthetics” has gained significant popularity, giving rise to a new wave of teahouses and traditional Chinese-style guesthouses. I pondered that what they are selling isn’t just tea leaves or specific utensils or furnishings; it’s a form of modern lifestyle aesthetics within an Eastern context. When I initially conceived the DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden, I had a few key terms in mind: aesthetics, curated objects, salon, and private banquets. Some questioned whether I had forgotten that fundamentally, this is a restaurant, and private banquets should be emphasized upfront. However, my true intent with this project is to convey that within this garden, numerous stories and scenarios can unfold. I hope that visitors are genuinely moved by the garden.
▽低调质朴的入口空间 Low-key and rustic entrance space
The entrance is deliberately inconspicuous and understated, offering a stark contrast to the hidden world that awaits beyond the door. Isn’t this strong sense of contrast a form of amusement in itself?
观园犹如观山水画” “Contemplating the Garden as if Gazing at a Classical Landscape Painting”
The phrase “viewing the garden like an ancient landscape painting” is readily comprehensible, yet its interpretation remains subjective and challenging to realize. My approach to the DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden was characterized by a quest for exploration and discovery, eschewing a confined two-dimensional perspective. Instead, I sought to uncover the essence of each space, methodically refining it to perfection. In the realm of traditional Chinese landscape painting, the foundation lies in “small scenes of trees and rocks.” To embody this, I embarked on a selection of stones, resulting in a far more vivid portrayal, with delightful surprises awaiting those who take the time to explore and discover.
▽看似随意实则用心的细节处理 Seemingly random but actually careful detail
The entire garden unfolds in a manner reminiscent of a classical scroll, encircling the central courtyard with a cloistered spatial structure. It eschews the conventional crescendos or definitive conclusions, and from the moment one steps foot within, it unfolds its narrative with a patient cadence. In the selection of materials for the garden’s pavement, I traversed a landscape of considerations. I sought materials that embodied both durability and practicality while preserving the garden’s inherent natural aura. Although I experimented with materials such as gravel and petite stones, they either proved too intricate to maintain or exuded an excessive uniformity that bordered on rigidity. Guided by the principle of “mimicking nature,” I ultimately directed the craftsmen to haphazardly fracture and adjoin granite on-site. The result is a mosaic devoid of straight lines or recurring patterns, a testament to the harmonious blend of artistry and nature.
▽中心庭院景观 Central courtyard view
▽镜面流水映射出树影的斑驳，人影憧憧 The mirror water reflected the mottled shadows of the trees and the silhouetted figures
The DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden resembles a miniature grove, a testament to the ever-evolving nature that refuses to remain static, transcending the monotony of mere green. The Chinese tallow tree, a splendid deciduous tree native to the mountains, danced with a multitude of colors during my childhood autumns. Here, they grow in untamed profusion, offering a kaleidoscope of seasonal beauty throughout the year.
▽季相变化的花园美景 The changing seasons of the garden
轻自然的室内空间 “Subtle Naturalistic Indoor Spaces”
The overall indoor space enveloped in a dark palette seamlessly integrates various green hues from diverse materials. It exudes an aura of privacy, tranquility, and vitality. This is an extraordinarily inclusive space where dining, activities, and tea gatherings coexist harmoniously. Each area mutually enriches the others, all facing the courtyard. With the ability to witness the changing seasons, listen to the wind and rain, it truly embodies the adage of enjoying the blossoms in one’s own courtyard, a beautiful experience in life.
▽开放/通透的落地窗使室内外的场景更交融，模糊景观与建筑的边界。The open/transparent floor-to-ceiling Windows make the indoor and outdoor scenes more integrated, blurring the boundary between the landscape and the building.
[LAOFANGZI] The existing bluestone retaining walls and the original wooden frame structure of the building have been meticulously preserved, largely resurrecting the robust architectural form of the 1960s and 70s. After navigating through various twists and turns, without partitioning the space, I retained the exposed original walls, enhancing them. This design approach creates a striking juxtaposition between old and new, as well as the rustic and the refined.
▽立面处理上保留了质感浓厚的青石挡墙，中间通过长书架打破序列，强化了聚会的轻松氛围 The facade retains the bluestone retaining wall with strong texture, and the long bookshelf breaks the sequence in the middle, strengthening the relaxed atmosphere of the party
The interior decor draws inspiration from the colors and textures of natural landscapes, incorporating elements such as raw wood, slate, and glass. Black serves as the primary color, complemented by green, with the aim of fostering a tranquil atmosphere within the space. Simultaneously, efforts have been made to introduce nature, trees, and sunlight into the interior, facilitating a harmonious coexistence with the natural world.
[YIMU]An independently tranquil space, One Wood exudes the understated elegance of Eastern living aesthetics. Every object inside has been meticulously crafted and designed, with strict control over every dimension and detail. Simple artworks embellish the space, where the inside and outside blend seamlessly. Each window offers a different view, creating a diverse tapestry of scenes. Those inside the house gaze upon the garden, while those in the garden admire the scenery.
▽品茗静享的壹木空间 Yimu interior space
[YIWU] A charming and compact space, One Thing is as silky-smooth as cream, beloved by many. It features a curated selection of flower vases, teaware from Jingdezhen, and original lighting fixtures and small furnishings. My initial vision was to share exceptional designer items here, offering guests a unique opportunity to explore distinctive pieces while enjoying tea and dining.
▽温馨的壹物空间 Yiwu interior space
04 一些感悟和期盼 Some Insights and Expectations
▽独角仙花园开业至今，定期举行艺术分享沙龙，邀请艺术家们在这里分享作品背后的故事。Since its opening, the Garden has held regular art sharing salons, inviting artists to share the stories behind their works.
未完待续 To be continued…
2023年05月 · 入夏
The DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden has been a year in the making, a year in growth, and a year in operation. Throughout this journey, I’ve encountered many regrets and reflections. Presently, I’m deeply passionate about researching small-scale integrated projects in architecture, landscape, and interior design. It represents a new endeavor in my professional path, and I hope to break down professional boundaries. What it offers to everyone is not just a restaurant but a recognized “way of life.” We will continue to share more about integrated architecture, landscape, and interior design.
May 2023, the onset of summer,
Penned at DUJIAOXIAN Urban Garden,
项目名称：独角仙 | 城市花园
设计团队：江梦洁 王英 赵贤骏 张浩 伍福强 段雪萍
Project Name: DUJIAOXIAN | Urban Garden
Completion Year: April 2022
Project Area: 1000 square meters
Location: Dashiba, Jiangbei District, Chongqing, China
Landscape/Architectural/Interior Design: Dao Yuan Design
Company Website: daoyuan.net
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Designer: Chen Puhe
Design Team: Jiang Mengjie, Wang Ying, Zhao Xianjun, Zhang Hao, Wu Fuqiang, Duan Xueping
Client: DUJIAOXIAN Catering Culture Co., Ltd.
Construction Firm: Dao Yuan Design
Architectural and Landscape Photography: Walnut and Shengjian Bao, Riye Photography
Interior Photography: Pianfang Photography
更多 Read more about： 道远设计