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YASDESIGN：BACKGROUND OF THE REVITALIZATION OF RURAL AREA – The Chinese government put forward the strategies of revitalization rural area and aim to fulfill the general requirements of “prosperous industry, livable ecology, local custom civilization, effective governance, economic prosperity” of rural modernization.
A shared issue of China and the rest of the world in the rural area is that all villages are facing problems on population decrease which lead to serious of problems on economics, education, etc. At present,the only solution is that how the urban residents especially children could be attracted by rural area and willing to visit village would be top priority.
As a result, a proposal of creating the largest natural school for children in China has been raised up. The site was selected by local Lishui district government, Lishui Business Travel group and our design team, and finally the Wuxiang Nature School established in Guoxing village at the foot of Wuxiang Mountain.
区位分析 SITE LOCATION
“无想自然学校” 这一名称中的“无想”是什么意思？这不得不说一下无想山的历史故事。南京溧水无想山位于江苏省南京市溧水区，总面积20平方公里，2015年1月被批准为国家森林公园。无想山历史久远，成名距今已经1200年了。五代十国著名政治家、文学家韩熙载（902-970）在此山中置地筑台，隐居读书，他想到佛家的“无我思想”，就给山改名“无想山”。无想山上有一座著名的古寺“无想寺”，为“南朝四百八十寺” 之一，有诗云：“山名无想寺因之，寺抱山中境实奇”。北宋著名词人周邦彦任溧水县令时，曾多次游历此山，写下了《满庭芳·夏日溧水无想山作》一词，描绘了山峰的旖旎风光。 南京市溧水区无想山国家森林公园山脚下的郭兴村改造为“无想自然学校”园区，以农业景观为主，改造原有村庄为自然学校的校舍，通过乡村大地艺术景观将500亩的农田以点、线、面的景观设计手法有机地结合起来，形成集自然教育、亲子活动、餐饮、民宿、骑行、艺术沙龙、书吧于一体的活动场地，是当前中国国内已建成的最大规模的田园综合体项目之一。
Generally,there are plenty of resource of nature and history in the site. Wuxiang Mountain is located in Lishui district，Nanjing city, Jiangsu province with a total area of 20 square km. It was approved as a national forest park by government in January 2015.Apart from its superior resource in nature, Wuxiang Mountain also has a long history, the earliest historical records can be traced to 1200 years ago. Han Xizai (902-970), who is a famous statesman and litterateur during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period,he built a platform in the mountain and lived in seclusion,and renamed the mountain “Wuxiang”.The world“Wuxiang”in chinese means the thought of Buddhism’s ” Anatman”. A famous ancient temple Wuxiang Temple is located on the mountain, which was described in countless ancient poetries for its charming scenery of peaks.
Guoxing Village, located at the foot of Wuxiang Mountain National Forest Park, was redeveloped as Wuxiang Nature School. The redevelopment relies on the existing agriculture landscape(33 Ha farmland), which was infused with the landscape design that allows the farmland linked organically and transformed into a massive earth landscape. Meanwhile, the existing village buildings were renovated to be school buildings. With various kinds of natural habitats and renovated facilities,series of programs were offered by Wuxiang nature school,which include natural education,family-oriented activities,food and beverage,home-stay,riding,art salon,book bar and so on.
自然课堂 CHILDREN ATTEND THE “WUXIANG NATURE SCHOOL” COURSE
An educational center specialized in outdoor farming experience activities and other programs has been established in Wuxiang nature school,which relies on its rich natural resource. Basically,the core principle of the nature school is “nature is the best teacher”,which encourages children to develop self-awareness, social awareness, and increase their abilities of observation and focus on the environment of nature. In Wuxiang nature school, families can experience an interesting rural life. Teachers usually lead children to the natural environment where knowledge in books transform into inspirations that they absorb in all aspects.The deputy district mayor of Lishui attended the opening ceremony of Wuxiang Nature School to express supports from the government, major media reported the key event to praise its contribution to society.
▼户外儿童农事体验等功能的研学基地outdoor farming experience activities and other programs has been established in Wuxiang nature school
Paddy planting：When summer comes, children could be a small farmer, barefoot in the mud to experience the joy of paddy planting, experience mom and dad that era of childhood, and contact with nature closely.
Insect knowledge：Under the guidance of the teacher, children carefully observed the insect specimens in the classroom of Wuxiang Nature School to identify which insects are pests or beneficial insects.
Garden dinner: After hard work and study, there are delicate garden dinner, children can have a special meal here, or children can cook by themselves.
Craft classes： In addition to paddy planting and insect spotting, craft teacher take children to create tiny insect art with palm leaves.
Fruit picking：Summer is also a season for picking, and the fruit in the orchard is ripe, so children can experience the fun of picking by themselves.
There are also outdoor barbecue, and family member can cut rapeseed (rape flower) to make rapeseed cake, also they can hold outdoor tent camping activities.
▼设计希望尽可能的保持原有乡村肌理 Design strtegy Preservation of Existing Rural Texture
保留原有水稻田及水面 Preservation of Existing Rice Paddies and Water Bodies
The design preserved the paddy filed and almost all the small-scaled water bodies.In this case, the water bodies served as an irrigation system, which not only watering the field,but also gives the paddy filed more texture and historical value.
保留180米紫藤长廊 Preservation of 180m Wisteria Promenade
Famous Chinese Poet Li Bai has a poetry that praises the timeless beauty of wisteria, it described the scenery of wisteria with unique fragrance and birds singing. The wisteria promenade in Guoxing village is one of the longest outdoor one in China. When wisteria flowers bloom in May, people can take photos, set tables or sit on the floor to have a picnic, a drink, and other activities underneath the hanging wisteria.,which is very beautiful and educational.
对原有建筑进行改造 Renovation of the Existing Buildings
Generally,the design team preserve the existing village context as a whole,according to the fundamental principle of protective building renovation.The architectural appearance of five existing old buildings was kept with partial repairs. Every old piece in the existing buildings was seen as art pieces with a historical value that is worthy of respect.
School interior design: Interior design focused on creating a contemporary and comfortable environment so that the interior is well blended into the rural environment.The local villagers were hired by Wuxiang nature school as ”Guide”,in this way,they can obtain economic income and also willing to play and spend time with children.
从风景园林的角度对乡村进行“微更新”——让农田成为景观亮点 Landscape Micro Redevelopment—-Making Farmland as Highlight
13 ha Pink Muhly Grass Field，Every year from September to November, 13 ha of pink muhly grass in Guoxing village formed a grand “red sea” which is the largest pink muhly grass field in China. At that time, the pink muhly grass become a landmark of Guoxing Village, the bird’s eye view of the huge pink sensation creates a national phenomenon, the creative agriculture brings enormous social propaganda and economic benefits. During the National Day in 2018, one hundred thousand people purchased tickets and visited Guoxing village, most of the Chinese medias reported the event and made it a scenic spot of China. Unsurprisingly,the photos of the pink muhly grass taken by people went viral on the internet,and these photos were viewed more than 5 million daily.
水稻田做出“微信二维码” 迷宫 Paddy Field QR Code Maze
The landscape design of paddy field maze is educational entertainment for children. According to the design of a WeChat QR code layout in the paddy field,the void space was cut out manually, bamboo was used as the pavement and binding materials in the paddy field temporarily,and it can be removed completely after the paddy field returns to normal agriculture land for rice growing next year.
水稻田增加木栈道 Wood decks in paddy field
Wood decks were placed at the existing ridges of paddy field as a walking and biking trail facility for children, which allow children can get closer to the crops and continue their exploration. Lighting fixtures were installed along two sides of the decks which improved the landscape effect of the paddy field during nights.
荷塘增加木栈道 Wood decks in lotus ponds
Wood decks were extended to the middle of lotus ponds so that people can enjoy the sight of the lotus pond closely. And lotus flower,lotus roots,frogs,dragonflies and special insects can be observed safely by children,which could be considering as the best educational resources in the nature.
增加梯田餐厅 Terraced Farmland Restaurant
The design group preserved the existing terraced farmland and placed a wooden structure with thatched roof restaurant at the top of the terraces where
families can enjoy meals together,and also they can watch the stars from tents during night.In a word, the designers fully utilized the natural landscape andcreated a liveable and dynamic place that surrounded by nature.
增加一米菜园及蔬菜集市区域 Vegetable garden and market place
Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, peanuts, cucumbers, cowpeas, and other vegetables can be grown in the vegetable garden where children learn knowledge of vegetable, harvest vegetable. A market place is also set up that allows them to trade different vegetables. This gives them a rare nature lesson, a true knowledge of the field that will never learn from classroom books in the city.
Fishing is new and fun for children from cities. Different fish, aquatic plants and animals can be learned through this interesting sport. Therefore, a large square waterbody at the north of the lotus pond was redeveloped into a fishing pond for children to fish.
Project name: Wuxiang Nature School
Project location: Guo Xing Manor, Lishui District, Nanjing
Client: Lishui Business Travel group
Design time: 2016
Completion date: 2018
Design company: YoungAsianScape Design Co., Ltd.
Photography: Jin Xiaohui, Zhang Qing, Guo Xing Manor, Lishui Tourism
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