Yuanheguan Village is close to the entrance of Wudang Mountain Scenic Area, and therefore was selected as a prioritized place for a pilot program. According to the plan, the plot where the original village committee office was situated and its surroundings will be transformed into a B&B reception demonstration area, so it was very urgent to relocate and construct a new village committee office. LUO studio recommended to reuse an idle residential plot that is adjacent to the main road as the new site of the village committee office.
Construction logic: wooden extension on concrete columns
The construction load of the foundation was calculated based on the originally planned construction for a house featuring three to four stories and a concrete frame structure (a typical local building type along the streets). The design team set several principles for the subsequent construction: avoiding damage or alteration to the original structure, minimizing extra load increased by the upper new construction, and effectively combining the forces of the new extension and the old construction. After comprehensive researches and analysis, LUO studio decided to carry out subsequent construction with wooden structures.
Subsequent construction was based on the following three phases
The concrete columns already existed on the site constitute a grid in a disorderly arrangement. Compared to the wooden structure, the original concrete column grid is incomplete. For this reason, necessary columns needed to be placed to the two-meter wide column lay in the central area, so as to make up for the lack of span of wooden beam members. In this way, it also helped to solve the irregularity of the column grid in between north and south sides. Then, by connecting the new column grid with the wooden beams, LUO studio realized the integration of the concrete column foundation and the wooden structure for the first floor.
Upward growing structure
The structure of beams and columns on the first floor grows upwards. The central area with very dense columns (spacing: 2m) and beams, was extended upwards to form the roof ridge. The ridge area was turned into a linear skylight, which ensures enough daylighting for the interior space that has a depth of 15m. The roof slopes to the north and south sides. The entrance is on the north side and faces the street, above which a long overhanging element forms a large covered area and responds to the characteristics of official architectures unique to Wudang Mountain area.
Filling in horizontal and vertical partitions and enclosures
After the main structure was completed, the next steps were to enclose exteriors, separate interior spaces and add floor slabs. The site was surrounded by adjacent buildings. Therefore, in order to prevent interference, the first floor is mainly enclosed by masonry walls. Those walls are characterized by even mixing of grey bricks and glass bricks, which ensures a certain amount of daylight in the interior. On the second floor, large areas of French glass windows provide a good view to the outside. Due to height limits, the mezzanine was mainly set up in the central area, used for storing files and items.
Open community architecture
Since the elderly are the majority of the village’s population, a ramp is set at the main entrance area for their convenience. There is an alley on the west side of the building, along which a long wooden bench is placed, which clings to the exposed concrete columns and the grey brick wall. Villagers can sit on it and have a rest after busy hours. This area also serves for casual meetings and placing public notice boards.
Based on the principle of sharing and openness, the interior space breaks the introverted layout of conventional village committee offices. Except for the conference area, the financial room and two added enclosed equipment rooms, all other spaces are open. Within the open space, a lot of convenient seating, reading and communication areas were created. Source by LUO studio.
- Location: Yuanheguan Village, Wudang Mountain Tourism Economic Zone, Danjiangkou, Shiyan City, Hubei Province, China
- Architect: LUO studio
- Design Team: Luo Yujie, Wei Wenjing
- Construction firm: Hubei Yufeng Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.
- Construction supervision: Shiyan Hongchao Construction Engineering Supervision Co., Ltd.
- Client: Yuanheguan Village Committee
- Area: 545.9 m2
- Completion: December 6, 2019
- Photographer: Jin Weiqi, Courtesy of LUO studio