The beliefs of the Association of Jintai village revolve around environmental responsiveness by relating various motions of the village to a natural ecological cycle that preserves the sense of the collective good. The village is located near Guangyuan, Sichuan Province in the southwest of China. It has a subtropical climate and is located in the temperate deciduous forest region. These regions with a milder climate also have a longer growing season but it is also one of the places hardest hit by the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008 of 8.0 magnitude in China which devastated the zone with nearly 5 million people remaining homeless afterwards. During the reconstruction effort, the region was hit by aftershocks and heavy rainfall, triggering a series of landslides that destroyed what had just been rebuilt. 

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Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet1
Ophelia Lau

Design Philosophy 

In the upcoming afresh planned villages in China, the conscious aspect of the challenge was to plan a village authentically with efficient spatial organization and artistic expression which draws inspiration from its relationship with the environment. With the help of local government and NGOs, The not-for-profit research and design studio – led by John Lin and Joshua Bolchover based at The University of Hong Kong – came up with a socially and environmentally sustainable proposal that addresses the unique needs of various users. This project of 4000 m² takes clues from denser urban living by locating the buildings closer with narrow alleys in between.

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Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet2
Precedent > Typology – Integrated Urbanism Studio (utoronto.ca)

The four prototypes of housing vary in size, function, and roof sections in a total of 22 houses including a community center blended along with concrete frameworks, brick facades, and terraced roofs for urban agriculture and supports self-sufficiency and small-scale farming, while open spaces on the ground level allow for individual family-owned workshops with satisfying sustainable aspects like natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting systems, and insulation made of straw.

Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet3
Ophelia Lau

As design-related research involved a consultative process with multiple feedback loops, it led to some changes in design approaches in China. The use of various scale models enables active participation in the design process including creating a platform for exchange and negotiation between government and villagers, unlike the usual top-down and government-led processes. 

Materials/ Construction 

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The layout attracts thoughts from typological and constructional versions of conventional Chinese architecture, even though it has additionally included techniques primarily based on contemporary technologies. For example, the homes are constructed with partitions of unfaced brick however are served via means of an advanced biogas network. Nevertheless, the complex’s maximum outstanding capabilities are the green roofs that crown a chain of internal airflow courtyards and double as spontaneous home meal gardens.

Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet4
Ophelia Lau
Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet5
Ophelia Lau

Different configurations result in the roof shapes of the houses, varying from ridged roofs, to roofs with a diamond-shaped mono-pitch, or valley roofs that rise towards facing corners. All the roofs are stepped to create a series of terraces that can be utilized for planting vegetables or crops for consumption by the occupants which supports the culture of urban agriculture.

The design tactics also provide different types of houses, with the use of new local materials from immediate surroundings, a green stepped-roof, biogas technologies, and accommodation for pigs and chickens. A vertical courtyard increases light and ventilation and channels rainwater for collection. It also invests in reed bed waste-water treatment and collective animal rearing.

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Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet6
Ophelia Lau

Sustainability 

This is an analysis of a contemporary rural livelihood. Generally understood as a naturally remodelling location that one originates from, a deliberate village is ordinary in comparison to a deliberate city. With tens of lots of new villages going on in China today, the mission was to reassert the village as an ontological ideal—to devise villages as true locations wherein the spatial management and physical expression are derived without delay from its direct natural environment.

Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet7
Gallery of Jintai Village Reconstruction / Rural Urban Framework – 27 (archdaily.com)

The re-establishment enhances the community functions of village spaces which adds food production and increases income with potential subsistence agriculture that conserves energy and water through treatments, enhances airflow, and maximizes natural light which all promotes sustainable reconstruction and village rationalization that will enhance local, regional and national decisions.

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Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet8
Gallery of Jintai Village Reconstruction / Rural Urban Framework – 27 (archdaily.com)

Also, appropriate use of local materials and collaboration processes to integrate community opinions with government interest to have a post-occupancy evaluation to inform future village designs are some of the rational aspects of Socioeconomic deliberation.

Jintai Village Reconstruction by Rural Urban Framework: Modern and Connected to the suroundings - Sheet9
Ophelia Lau

Sustainability not only anticipates to benefit humankind with natural sources but also to mingle with the existing system and not upsetting the natural ecological balance. The design hither fuses with the existing settings and balances the demands of both nature and human needs. 

Strategies like greywater recycling system, collective septic tanks, and permeable paving systems along with rainwater collection system, manmade wetlands, and animal keeping facility with an underground biogas system are all approaches to make a precise balance.

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References

  1. ARTICLE 1 : Authors: — << Rural Urban Framework · Jintai Village Recostruction · Divisare >>
  2. ARTICLE 1 : Authors: — <<Jintai Village Reconstruction – Rural Urban Framework RUF  | Arquitectura Viva>>
  3. ARTICLE 1 : Authors: — << Drawings – Ophelia Lau>>
  4. ARTICLE 1 : Authors: — << Rural Urban Framework builds post-disaster housing in China (dezeen.com)>>
  5. ARTICLE 1 : Authors: — <<Research_Design_Portfolios_009_JohnLin_JintaiVillagePrototype.pdf (hku.hk)>>
Author

With a cryptic perspective and ambivert personality, Simran is a student of B.Arch, who beliefs in reverie as escapism to bring solutions to realism. Besides, she says Architecture is not a domain limited to buildings however it’s an art that’s so far evident in every entity in this world, she also intends to explore more with her perceptions.

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