‘Blue Daydream’ is a ‘singing space’ that designed by one take architecture and independent musician Tieyang. In the Summer Camp that organized by non-profit organization Sunners in Xishui County, Hubei Province, One Take Architects, Tieyang and Sunners, together with college volunteers and left-behind children, designed and built this spatial musical installation together, which brought the children their own “The Big Band”.
▼项目概览，preview © 一本造建筑工作室
‘Blue Daydream’ consists of 10 groups of structures divided into 3 scales of parts, and each part includes 3-5 scales. Its main sounding part is the PVC tube with three different diameters, for which the pitch of sound could be adjusted by the blue water supply pipe on the top. This kind of tube is one of the most common and accessible material/tools in the rural areas of China. To save the cost of facilitating installation and maintenance, most of the drainage systems are exposed out of the house in rural areas. Therefore, children here are pretty familiar with it in their daily life. There is a multiple and flexible system of adapters, which allows children to easily understand the assemble principle of the tubes. Thus, they could quickly assemble them, even exploring more different ways of combinations.
▼左：乡村雨水管使用场景；右：项目中使用的PVC排水管 © 一本造建筑工作室
Left: The use of PVC pipes in the local village; right: the PVC pipes used in the project
The inspiration for using PVC tube as a sounder came from the bamboo percussion instruments created by the locals of Papua New Guinea. They bundle bamboos of different diameters together and hollow them out, so rich and powerful melody and rhythm could be formed by hitting them.
In order to simplify the construction process, the basement of the Blue Daydream is designed to be uniform sized stools that consisted of 100- millimetre-diameter PVC pipes. At the same time, the 110mm diameter PVC pipe is also a “picture scroll” for the children—they created their own painting on the pipes according to their feelings about the music they heard, and assemble them into Daydream Blue after they finished their painting.
▼白日梦蓝的基本构架，the basement of the Blue Daydream © 一本造建筑工作室
The sounding part of ‘Blue Daydream’ is concentrated in the upper part, therefore, the top of the PVC pipe base is filled with a common building material—PU FOAM (Polyurethane foam sealing agent) as sound-absorbing cotton to reduces the transmission of sound in the lower part. Without the disturbance in the lower base part, the adjustment of the pitch of scale is easier to quantify.
If regard the PVC tubes that constituted as a huge “drum”, then the “disposable slippers” could be seen as “drumsticks”-cheap and durable, suitable in size, and with good toughness and elasticity, the special ‘drumsticks’ could drive the air to knock out a quite well-textured sound.
▼PVC管道构成的“架子鼓”，the huge “drums” made of PVC pipes © 一本造建筑工作室
▼“一次性拖鞋”成为“鼓槌”，”disposable slippers” could be seen as “drumsticks” © 一本造建筑工作室
The First Daydream: Shelter
The first form of Daydream Blue is one of the most original forms of the living space- “shelter”. The small house with a double slope roof is such a familiar image, that it is the very first form for most people when learning to “paint a house. After the structures are joined together, the stool that connected together is exactly the size of a bed: 1600mm * 2000mm. Ten groups of components can be spliced into five groups of “shelters”, scattered in the centre of the playground.
▼五组“庇护所”，five groups of “shelters” © 一本造建筑工作室
▼双坡顶的“小房子”，The small house with a double slope roof © 一本造建筑工作室
▼孩子们与庇护所的互动，children are playing around the shelters © 一本造建筑工作室
The Second Daydream: Amphitheatre
这是为孩子们在嘉年华的表演而设计的空间。十组构筑物围合成一个圆形，建造营和音乐营的孩子们在外围坐一排，每个人敲击两组，音乐人铁阳在中间指挥，完成一首“WE WILL ROCK YOU“的演奏；之后戏剧营的孩子们进入剧场中央，其余的孩子们在白日梦蓝的凳子上围坐一圈白日梦蓝成为一座典型的“圆形剧场”，而这正是剧场建筑最初的形式原型。
This was a space designed for children’s performances at their carnival. Ten groups of structures formed a circle, the children sat in a row on the periphery, each person taps two tubes, and the musician Tie Yang conducts the performance in the middle: they worked together to complete a performance of “WE WILL ROCK YOU”. After that, the children of the theatre camp entered the centre of the circular space, and the rest of the children sat in a circle on the stools of Daydream Blue: made it a typical “Amphitheatre”, which is the original prototype of the theatre.
▼圆形剧场鸟瞰，aerial view to the Amphitheatre © 一本造建筑工作室
▼十组构筑物围合成一个圆形，Ten groups of structures formed a circle © 一本造建筑工作室
▼演奏，performance © 一本造建筑工作室
The Third Daydream: Peach Tree Col 24-hour Art Museum
▼“艺术馆”，the “Art Museum” © 一本造建筑工作室
The third form of Daydream Blue was designed by the children in groups. And the final plan, which was used as “Peach Tree Col 24-hour Art Museum” to end the camp at night as a finale, was voted by the architect team and volunteers together. The most recognized plan was formed by a courtyard surrounded by a group of four components and three groups of corridors around the courtyard at the centre. It provides ample display surface and an introverted theme exhibition area.
The exhibition plan of “Peach Tree Col 24-hour Art Museum” was also executed by the children in groups by discussing. They need to synthesize the knowledge they have learned during the fifteen-day study in the camp, and organize the hundreds of works that they created in the camp and display them in a reasonable theme.
▼设计过程，design process © 一本造建筑工作室
The final exhibition was amazing!
The children display “drumsticks”-disposable slippers on the stand solemnly for exhibition, together with the ukulele they made. Both the “drumsticks” and the ukulele were approved as “musical instruments” by them, which means as drumsticks the disposable slippers were given new meaning in the event of “exhibition.” Children cut and pasted the Chinese characters of ” Peach Tree Col ” using the extra mirror paper that left in the workshop, which reflected the sky and clouds; the remaining PVC pipes and connections were sorted and neatly placed in the “interactive area”, and they were assembled into a “cannon” by the children; the children drew invitations by themselves, and handed them to the old people and neighbours in the village next to the school; They were both artists and confident guides, proudly introducing their works to the villagers…
▼展览成果，the exhibition © 一本造建筑工作室
▼分发手绘邀请函，distributing the invitations © 一本造建筑工作室
Unexpected Dream: A New Ball Game
According to the original plan, during the course, there would be a one-day-course that the architecture camp and music camp should merge and study together. However, there was an unexpected vacancy day due to a temporary adjustment of the schedule. During the study, the children were always interested in the PVC pipes and the connections that they were eager to try to design and assemble them by themselves. So the architect team decided to add a new part in the course-a ball game which they could design and build their own “equipment”.
▼球赛现场，the ball game © 一本造建筑工作室
The rules of the game are very simple: each child could use the remaining PVC pipes that have not been assembled into ‘Blue Daydream’ and some spare parts to assemble their own “stick equipment”, with no limitation on the assembly form; And a temporarily found red balloon (not full filled with gas so that it will not explode due to knock, while still maintain a certain elasticity) becomes the “red thief” in the special ball game. Any player was only allowed to hit the balloon with their homemade sticks, while any touch of body parts with the billon is foul. The game includes two sides, and both sides can form teams freely. One point will be chalked up as to the corresponding team as the balloon is hit into the opponent’s goal.
This unexpected part that contemporarily organized became the happiest afternoon for the children: they were busy studying assembly methods, upgrading equipment, and constantly trying which method could be lighter and more “offensive and defensible” at the same time; and they gradually noticed that the most easily used sticks could not be got by blindly piling up bigger; some children even developed their own “independent shield” that two people use together…
▼自行组装“球杆装备”，assembling the “stick equipment” © 一本造建筑工作室
▼击球，ball-hitting © 一本造建筑工作室
“I want to build houses for the poor so that they can have good houses to live in. Imagine is everyone’s innate wealth and I want to make better use of it. My family does not yet have a brick house, so the rain is always leaking from the roof every time rains heavily. I then determined to give the best house for my grandma and grandparents to live in.” The diary of the child in the camp was tearful. Before the process of choosing camps, he handed us a note: “Please pick me up, Architecture camp!”
New sparks are reignited every year between the field and the stars. May all the grown children always have the courage to open their hearts to this “cold but also tender and warm world”.
▼操场鸟瞰，playground aerial view © 一本造建筑工作室
Project: Blue Daydream
Architect: One Take Architects
Chief Architect: Li Hao
Musician: Tie Yann
Kid-architects Team: Xu Yuan, Xu Jiaxue, Wang Hang, Wang Lixin, Xu Wenru, Shi Like, Hu Bing, Xu Zixin, Xu Haowen, Xu Xinmiao, Xu Zirui, Xu Mingyu, Xu Qian, Wang Xi, Xu Jiaran, Xu Zhen, Wang Zhihai
Volunteer: Wang Xiaoyang, Zhou Xueer, Shi Yufei, Tian Shuning, Zhang Yuntian, Xiang Weijing, Guo Qijun
Photo Credit: Cai Xinyuan, Li Kexin, Yang Jiaxin, Nan Xueqian
Location: Xishui, Hubei Province, China
Completion Year: 2019