This project in a rural village of mid-China consists of renovation for 80 homes and a newly built community center. By strategically learning form vernacular traditions, the design aims to revitalize the community life in the village.

Current Condition
Built by the government at one time, all the villagers’ residences were almost identical courtyard houses with minor customizations, aligned in rigid Cartesian streets system which prevents intimate social life.

Vernacular Form & Material
After a close study of nearby traditional villages, we took 3 steps to renovate the homes and streets:
1. Cover the facades with stone entrance and long mud wall, which is a typical vernacular composition and building technique.
2. Place a pavilion enclosed by piled-up tiles on street-side roof. The size, shape, position, and degree of openness of the pavilion can be customized. The pavilion would allow multi-functions such as eating, recreation, and food-preparation.
3. Take half of the width of the main street and change it to a micro version of terraced fields, which will be distributed to villagers for vegetable growing. The space half-enclosed by the tile pavilion, the façade wall, and the fields, will form an intimate public space encouraging neighborhood interactions.

The Community Center
By superimposing tile pavilions on houses with mud walls, the community center will be a miniature town with alleys and pocket spaces vary in size, shape, and height, evoking the enchanting but lost texture of local traditional villages. We believe this network of informal spaces will encourage diverse activities for both grown-ups and children, and stimulate energetic community life.



LOCATION: Xiuwu County, Henan Province, China

80 Standard homes (Exterior Renovation)
Streetscape (Renovation)
Community Center (New)

Xiaomeng Xu

Blacksmith Village Revitalization by Xiaomeng Xu in China won the WA Award Cycle 37. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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