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line+ studio：In the Internet era, in addition to functionality, aesthetics and economy, the mediating role of architecture is also a force that cannot be ignored. Therefore, in Dongximen renewal project, we try to jump out of the category of traditional architectural design, combine with specific social context and policies, integrate upstream and downstream resources, construct a whole set of project operation process from planning and design to construction, operation and communication, and explore an innovative development mode with design as the engine. Let architects become the hub and link between various fields, and realize the role transformation from “designer” to “enabler”.
Mount Tai has been the first of the Five Great Mountains of China since antiquity. “Leaning against a cliff, I overlook all eight directions. All my eyes can see is calmness.” In the words of the famous Chinese poet Li Bai, Mount Tai exhales the breath of the world and offers the most beautiful scenery on earth. Located at the foot of the mountain’s Peak of the Nine Maidens, or Jiunvfeng in Chinese, Dongximen Village is surrounded by mountains on all sides. Adjacent to the Shenlong Canyon, this village administrated by Tai’an City offers panoramic views of the gorge and the mountain peaks in the distance. Yet, this magnificent natural scenery actually acted as a barrier to Dongximen’s development. Its isolation, and the barrenness of the land caused the village to gradually lose touch with general economic progress. The village’s young people had left to work in the city, and only the elderly remained. This common phenomenon of hollowed-out rural communities had further aggravated the village’s decay. There are dozens of villages in the Jiunüfeng area of Tai’an that share the same fate, yet Dongximen was the most remote, and also faced the greatest challenges to its development among other poverty-stricken villages in the province.
In the planning, the design takes cultural tourism as the starting point to transform the 19 villages into a rural eco-tourism resort integrating pastoral cultural tourism, health and recreation, high-efficiency agriculture, and study tours. And Dongximen Village after renovation will be a high-end holiday home stay. However, since there are not many incremental land indicators, the design scope is limited to the existing homestead. The site is a typical sloping village with dense vegetation. A small river runs through it and reaches the top of the village, commanding the magnificent scenery of Mount Tai in the distance. When the project started, there were no villagers living on the site, leaving only a dozen groups of stone houses, some broken stone walls and a small number of production houses that had been used as pigsties, some newly built and some years old.
▽改造后的村落肌理 Village texture after renovation
▽东西门村改造前后对比 Dongximen Village before and after
Facing multiple challenges-How to make effective use of stock housing land and collective construction land? How to attract traffic in poverty-stricken villages, produce benefit, and make it develop sustainably? We propose a double-line parallel design strategy. The first is to carry out acupuncture-style renovation. With the homestead boundary unchanged, the space activation of the existing buildings and the ecological restoration of the original environment are taken as the starting point to realize the renewal of the old villages. The second is to stimulate the media effect for attracting traffic through the establishment of public space. The existing homestead in the site will be transformed and updated into a resort hotel, and a group of public buildings with media effect will be built by using a small amount of collective construction land indicators, while giving consideration to public supporting facilities of the hotel.
村落的更新 The Renewal of the Village
The traditional stone walls left over from the old buildings in Dongximen Village are the result of the skilled craftsmanship of the stone craftsmen in the village. The big problem of design was what to do with the stone walls. The rubble stone wall is not only an important feature of the rural landscape, but also the most important trace of the rural texture. Therefore, our design deepening and material application are all around the stone wall. At the early stage of the design, the stone houses and walls on the site were carefully mapped, and the parts with good quality were selected for annotation and reservation. The stone walls that could not be retained due to quality problems were also stacked and stored and rebuilt in their original position. We regard these old stone walls as an important basis for “anchoring” the new building, so that the new and the old naturally have a kind of continuity and inheritance.
▽保留的毛石墙 Preserved stone wall
The stone construction is featured with thick wall and thermal insulation performance. But there are also shortcomings like material waste, poor waterproof performance and poor seismic effect. It was impossible for the site to follow the old stone house completely. In the design, the load-bearing effect of the original stone wall is removed and transformed into the envelope structure. In this way, the original load-bearing stone wall is free in form and can fully display the material itself. Block walls are added to the inside of the stone wall. The insulation layer, waterproof layer and protective layer are successively added between the block wall and the rubble stone to improve the thermal performance of the new building and ensure that the new building meets the requirements of modern use.
The new building takes the form of a steel frame inserted into the old rubble walls. After carefully considering the construction conditions of the site, we chose the most common building materials I-beam as the main building materials. Beam and column are made of 200×200 I-beam, purlin is made of 100×148 I-beam, easy to purchase and process on site. At the same time in the design we carefully designed the frame combination and material connection. The frame of the main body is rigidly connected, and the purlin is overlapped with the main frame.
▽工字钢框架的植入 I-beam frame
This framework system can flexibly adopt the line-shaped, L-shaped and U-shaped layouts according to different homesteads, which can well respond to the complex homestead and site features. The frame of small scale became a corridor; the frame of large scale became a room. This way of generating individual volume from prototype framework and then growing into whole is completely consistent with the formation mode of traditional settlements.
▽十二个院子的空间组织和功能排布 The spatial organization and layout of the twelve courtyards
This frame system has also achieved very good results in the construction process. The clear and simple structural system not only saves the cost, but also allows the construction personnel to accurately understand the designer’s intention, and minimizes the space for making mistakes in the field construction.
Courtyards No. 1, 2 and 4: The existing structures are newly built stone houses. The design preserves part of their rubble walls and organizes the relationship between the buildings and the site. Courtyard No. 1 is formed around a tree, while courtyards No. 2 and No. 4 form an L-shape.
▽一号院子生成图 Generation diagram
Courtyards No. 3: The existing stone houses of smaller size were auxiliary houses used for the storage and production regarding the old dwellings. The design takes advantage of the existing rubble stone volumes, and inserts glass box connections between them. Each stone box contains functions such as toilet and bedroom, while the glass box is a shared space for children to play games.
▽三号院子剖透视 Section of Courtyard No.3
▽三号院子内部空间 Interior of Courtyard No.3
Courtyard No. 5: The existing building had two parts arranged parallel to each other, running north to south. The south side hosted a new elongated stone house built by the farmers, but it was too long. The design breaks up the existing volume and divides it into two parts. The building on the west side retains its original linear layout, forming two guestrooms. On the east side, a vertical volume is inserted in line with the topography to create a public space on the ground floor that serves the guestrooms. Additionally, large steps are set up inside according to the terrain to form a multi-layered and multifunctional interior space.
▽五号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽五号院子 Courtyard No.5
Courtyard No. 6: The plot is located close to the main road leading up the hill, so it was decided that it would function as a gathering space. Considering its different purpose, and based on metal plates as the main material, the design concept of “folding” was adopted to form a continuous entity of walls, roofs, and railings. It is also blended with the steps to resolve the height difference of the site, giving the whole building exterior a light origami look.
▽六号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽六号院子 Courtyard No. 6
Courtyards No. 7, 8 and 9: The existing buildings were all old residential houses with an enclosed layout. The new buildings follow their architectural texture and spatial form, enclosing a central courtyard by adding and subtracting volumes from the original spatial logic. These courtyard spaces integrate indoor and outdoor areas and changes in elevation. The ancient trees on the site of courtyard No. 8 are also left untouched. The structural framework is flexibly expanded around it, thus creating a courtyard under the shade of a tree and a multifunctional internal space.
▽八号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽八号院子 Courtyard No. 8
▽八号院子内部空间 Interior of Courtyard No. 8
Courtyard No. 10: The existing building had an L-shaped layout. The design follows the original spatial pattern and adopts an L-shape similar to that of courtyard No. 5 to envelop a courtyard. The entrance ascends along with the terrain, forming an outdoor platform rising above the slope and thus forming a dialogue with the distant mountains.
▽十号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽十号院子内部空间 Interior of Courtyard No. 10
Courtyard No. 11: The existing buildings were constructed in recent years, with a north-south alignment and a 10-foot (3-meter) height difference between the front and back rows. The design preserves the spatial layout of the original buildings and resolves the height difference between the front and rear buildings. The partial enlargement of the roof provides a new, shared public space and roof terrace.
▽十一号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽十一号院子 Courtyard No. 11
Courtyard No. 12: The plot is located in the westernmost area of the project site. Given its relative isolation, the design turns it into a stand-alone guesthouse. The existing structure was an old residential building that had fallen into a state of disrepair. The new building retains the old rubble walls and inserts a two-story steel structure with a gable roof.
▽十二号院子生成图 Generation diagram
▽十二号院子 Courtyard No. 12
The sloping roof is covered with simple, flat cement tiles. Courtyard No. 12 presents itself as a lighter structure with a large L-shaped gray space overhanging the second floor, which blends in with the surrounding native trees to converse with nature.
▽十二号院子内部空间 Interior of Courtyard No. 12:
The necessary functional modules of the guest rooms are integrated into blocks to separate the space, ensuring the fluidity of the overall space and enriching the sense of hierarchy. The plain concrete texture and pure geometric shape, the warm wooden furniture and the wild natural mountain view operates the atmosphere clam and comfortable.
▽ 室内功能体块化 Functional modules
Between the courtyards and the new buildings, a meandering walkway and landscape experience is created. It is aimed to incorporate the rich and varied natural environment into the design of the footpaths, enhancing the perception of the settlement and the environment through the motion of the body. Coming from the outside, visitors walk through scattered forests along wooden bridges and stone steps; they climb, look up, turn, and finally ascend to the top to catch a glimpse of the natural wilderness to the north, forming a narrative experience from the beginning to the end, from low to high, and high to low.
A large number of stones showing traces of the old village are reused to pave stone paths, steps, and low walls, continuing to chronicle the growth of the new village. When it came to plant selection, the integrity of the forest and a diversity of plants are achieved by replanting Chinese hackberry, Chinese photinia, and Chinese fountain grass, to complement the large native trees on the site.
As a building designed to attract media attention, the Jiunvfeng Study and Bubble Pool are located on the top of a scenic mountain ridge. With the mountains to the east and the village to the rear, the study can be spotted when driving up the sloping mountain road. Designing a highly distinctive “white space” on top of the exposed rugged mountains in the north was the core idea for the design.
The building’s structure is divided into three parts from top to bottom: a white “cloud,” transparent glass, and a heavy rubble-wall base. To the north, it overlooks a permeable interface of canyons and peaks. The long and narrow path at the entrance connects the café and reading areas at either ends of the building, blurring the boundary between the structure and the natural landscape, giving visitors and readers the illusion of being on top of a mountain forest.
The accurate use of materials and structures is equally important for the form expression of the design idea. For the shaping of the concept of cloud flocculation, we hope to highlight the following key words: floating, light and transparent. In the natural conflict between the soft intuitive cognition of “cloud” and the simple and hard mountain environment in northern China, it gives people a relaxed and pleasant intuitive perception. The light steel and membrane structure system used in the main building has the characteristics of firmness, reliability and lightness, which enables the design to draw the thin and stretching shape with the natural curve on the top of the hill.
▽轴测分解图 Axonometric exploded diagram
装配式轻钢建造体系既满足建筑的形体需求，也得以在山地环境中快速精准地施工。直径150mm 的细钢柱支撑弧形圈梁，圈梁上搭建双层28 对拱形龙骨，这一序列尺寸渐变且排列密集的弧形龙骨，为内外双层膜的流畅张拉提供支持。
The study adopts the prefabricated light steel construction system not only to meet the physical requirements of the building, but also to be constructed quickly and accurately in the mountain environment. Steel columns that are 150 millimeters thick support a curved girder, on top of which twenty-eight pairs of arched double joists are erected. This sequence of gradually changing and densely arranged arc joists allows for the smooth application of the interior and exterior membranes.
Jiunvfeng Bubble Pool
Similar to the Jiunvfeng Study, the Pool also serves as a medium to attract visitors. If the study is a “cloud” located at the top of the mountain, then the Bubble Pool and its supporting facilities are like shells scattered on the hillside of the village, echoing the vast and magnificent forest scenery. As one walks through the entrance of the village, past the guesthouses arranged along the hillside, and up the path made of local stones, the pure white Bubble Pool slowly emerges from the mountain’s vegetation.
The Bubble Pool are divided into three areas: dressing rooms, sea-bathing section, and a fitness area, which contribute to three building volumes. To the west, sits the semi-outdoor sea-bath. To ensure the flow and permeability of the pool building, an unspoiled space without pillars and visual obstructions is essential. The pure white roof thus rises from the ground in an open and airy shape with a height of 32.8 feet (10 meters) and protrudes toward the distant mountains. Sheltering the pool area within, it takes on a “rising” posture to maximize the landscape views for visitors relaxing in the water. On the east side, lies the indoor area serving the pool, characterized by a smaller, more restrained arch shape. It hosts the reception, dressing rooms, showers, and a small sauna.
The construction of the Pool takes into account the purity and simplicity of the space, balancing the relationship between the building, the landscape, and the interior, while simplifying the structure and materials as much as possible.
Architecture as Agent
2020 年10 月，项目整体开放。九女峰书房与泡池迅速地借助网络，成为了热门“打卡点”，开业仅三月便创造单月营业额超百万元的纪录，九女峰书房单日最高营业额超五万元，而游客所带来的溢出效应也间接惠及了当地村民的生活与创业。九女峰的乡村振兴之路引发了广泛的社会影响力，包括央视一套《新闻联播》、CCTV共和国发展成就巡礼山东篇、学习强国等各类媒体均对其进行了报道，该项目被列为乡村振兴齐鲁样板省级示范区，成功打造了山东省乡村振兴的新名片。
When the whole project went into operation in October 2020, the Jiunvfeng Study and Bubble Pool quickly became a popular photo destination, thanks to the internet, just as the team had envisioned. Just three months after its opening, it created a record of a monthly turnover of over one million yuan, and the highest single-day turnover of Jiu Nufeng Study exceeded 50,000 yuan. The spillover effect brought by tourists also indirectly benefited the lives and entrepreneurship of local villagers. The practice of rural revitalization of Jiunvfeng has aroused extensive social influence, including CCTV’s News Network, CCTV’s development achievement tour of Shandong, and xuexi.cn. The project has been listed as the provincial rural revitalization model, which has successfully created a new business card in Shandong’s rural revitalization.
The revitalization and renewal of Dongximen Village is a multi-dimensional process with complex roots and social, resource and environmental issues. From the early planning, new building generating, to the later industrial introduction and operation, this project is a typical state-owned capital that cooperates with the local government. Under the leadership and organization of architectural design, combined with specific social context and policy implementation, the design promotes rural revitalization model innovation and empowers the countryside.
▽一号、二号院子平面图 Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.1 and No.2
▽三号、四号院子平面图 Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.3 and No.4
▽五号院子平面图（不同标高）Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.5
▽七号、八号院子平面图 Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.7 and No.8
▽九号、十号院子平面图 Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.9 and No.10
▽十一号院子平面图（不同标高）Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.11
▽十号、十一号院子剖面图Section of Courtyard No.10, 11
▽十二号院子一层平面图 Ground floor plan of Courtyard No.12
Project Name: Tai’an Dongximen Village Renewal Project
Project Location: Tai’an, Shandong
Architecture Design: line+ & gad
Interior/Landscape Design: line+
Chief Architect/Project Leader: Meng Fanhao
Person in Charge: Tao Tao, Zhu Min, Xu Hao, Zhang Erjia, Huang Guangwei, Yuan Dong, Li Sanjian, Xie Yuting, Hao Jun, Xu Tianju, Tu Dan (architecture); Zhu Jun, Jin Xin, Deng Hao, Zhang Sisi, Qiu Limin, Hu Jinwei, Zhou Xinyi, Zhang Ning, Wang Lijie (interior); Li Shangyang, Jin Jianbo, Chi Xiaomei, Su Chenjuan (landscape)
Floor Area: 3023 square meters（renovation），567.56 square meters（study and bubble pool）
Design Time: 2018/12-2019/08
Clinet: Lushang Pusu (Tai ‘an) Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
Photographer: zystudio, Pan Jie, Jin Xiaowen
审稿编辑 Ashley Jen
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