Ming Ting: A Rural-Education School
我的好友夏莉莉是个地道的四川人，在都江堰长大，曾经跑遍祖国大好河山。她长期投身有关自然教育和社区营造的相关事业，是个典型的“孩子王”—– 孩子和家长们都亲切的叫她“夏老师”。 后来，景观设计师王健庭加入，成为她的生活伴侣和工作搭档。除了深厚的专业修养，健庭在各种实务操作方面可谓 “N项全能”，这让夏老师的事业如虎添翼。一直以来，他们希望能有个属于自己的空间，以切身介入在地生活的方式来实践关于人和社区的理念。 2015年，他们有了宝宝王乐毛，这种需求就更为迫切了。
There is always someone before something happens.
My friend Xia Lili is a native of Sichuan. She has long been devoted to rural education and community revitalization, and is a typical “King of Children”—– children and parents affectionately calling her “Mrs. Xia”. Later, landscape designer Wang Jianting joined as her husband and work partner. In addition to professional qualities, he can be described as “skilled expert “in various practical operations, which makes Mrs. Xia’s career even more powerful. They have always wanted to have a space of their own to practice their ideas about people and community in a way that is personally involved in local life. In 2015, their baby: Wang Lemao was born, which made this need even more urgent.
In the spring of 2016, the couple took me to a quiet site in Mingyue Village. They plan to build a base where they live and work: “Ming Ting”.
Mingyue Village is a typical forest plate in western Sichuan. To be precise, it has a certain classical painting meaning: the creeping tea fields, swaying bamboo forests, tall masson pine, clear ponds and clear sky together define the whole environment, fresh and open. The word Ming Ting means “the courtyard of Mingyue Village”. They told me that “Ming Ting” should have some kind of public value: to build a community through activities and research based on Mingyue Village, so as to form a place where local residents have a sense of belonging.
▼项目鸟瞰，aerial view of the project ©王健庭
Since she started her education-related career, no matter where she went, Xia Lili named the book corner for children “summer quiet academy” — “summer is quiet and easy to read” — The name has its own leisurely artistic conception, and the word ”academy“ naturally exudes some kind of Chinese classical meaning. In addition, the couple hopes to be able to raise their own children, and benefit more children at same time — to open up a perspective of being close to nature for them–so Ming Ting got a very local name: “Le Mao’s Home”. In their words: “The original intention of the establishment of Le Mao’s Home is to settle our own life, and to accompany the children of MingYue Village to grow up slowly in nature and social relationship.” Therefore, the three names of “Ming Ting”, ” Summer quiet academy ” and “Le Mao’s Home” define this space from different perspectives: it is a public space for local society, and it is a Chinese classical space, also a educational space which is full of local flavor related to children.
Based on the above, I think a local experiment to explore the poetic modernization of Chinese tradition can be carried out .
▼项目北侧鸟瞰，aerial view of the project from the north ©王健庭
▼东北角鸟瞰，aerial view of the project from northeast ©王健庭
Landscape, Residence and Site: “earth fairy spirit”
From the satellite map, Mingyue Village and even the entire Pujiang County are landscape textures intertwined with “patches”: fields, woods, dwellings, and ponds are woven into the entire environment, which can be called “various green broken flowers” Carpet. Switching to the human perspective, the tea fields cover the earth according to the homogeneous strips. And the tall and slightly inclined posture of the masson pine and the mist that often appears around make it easy for me to think of literati in the Song Dynasty, swaying in the wind, as if talking to a tea field – Masson pine pollen is really good for the growth of tea. The masson pine and bamboo forests appear alternately in the vast tea fields, which define dense and dense layers; while strolling through it, the rape flowers and paddy fields that occasionally catch the eye add color and humidity to the green landscape. The faraway mountains look like landscape paintings, giving people a cool and refreshing mood. According to the standard of “self-contained natural interest” in the book “Yuan ye” written by Ji Cheng in the Ming Dynasty, this is an excellent pastoral garden.
▼明月村景观肌理，landscape texture of Mingyue Village ©活泼泼地
▼项目所在区域的植被和地景，surrounding environment of the site ©左：图源网络，右：王健庭
The rural houses in western Sichuan are elegant and simple, which is typical in Mingyue Village: white walls, sloping roofs, gray tiles, courtyards, wooden buckets, arranged in twos and threes against pine or bamboo forests, giving people a very relaxed feeling—The layout of almost all courtyard-style dwellings is inseparable from forests, fish ponds, and tea fields. This obviously contains a very simple but strong relationship. It also shows that the value of natural elements has been internalized.
In addition, the overall topography of the entire surrounding environment gradually decreases from west to east, which determines the direction of rainwater confluence; the terrain inside the site is relatively flat from north to south, and a wide platform appears in the middle, with the upper and lower stages of the stage. The height difference is about 1.5 meters.
▼基地分析，site analysis ©活泼泼地
I selected three natural elements with strong characteristics from the environment: the masson pine forest in the northeast corner is sparsely arranged and combined, sparse but not thin;It can be described as “thin ponytails”; the bamboo forest in the southeast corner is dense and thick, showing a strong sense of volume, and the sloping canopy of bamboo leaves is like some curved tentacles: for some reason, the volume, posture and density make it look like Like a little giant: I call it “Green Giant”; the snow-capped mountain behind the cascading mountains in the north is the Xiling Snow Mountain – the “Xiling Qianqiu Snow” in Du fu’s poem – then it is called “Western Snow “
▼远眺西岭雪山，looking over to the Xiling Snow Mountain ©王健庭
▼设计草图，design sketch ©刘崇霄
So, I set a few principles for this building:
First of all, the type of the whole space is “courtyard”. It is a reverse response to the open landscape outside and a projection of “home”.
Secondly, the courtyard has the atmosphere of western Sichuan folk houses and the atmosphere of home, but there is never any specific formal elements in traditional houses.
Thirdly, the rhythm associated with the environment is displayed through “antithesis”. It is necessary to weaken its geometric properties by showing the relationship and rhythm through the light interweaving and dancing of many elements such as walls, columns, floors and windows.
Finally, about the borrowing and introduction of landscape elements: the surrounding natural environment is very rich, so the construction of the courtyard should make the interior quiet so as to form a contrast: when people climb the roof, they can appreciate the infinite poetic and picturesque outside scenery; when people walk into the courtyard , living around the only landscape focus of the interior, and at the same time connecting with the exterior landscape through various openings and gaps as a complement and enrichment of the interior landscape focus.
To sum up, this courtyard should have some “earth fairy spirit”.
The formation of the Ming Ting: Walls, slabs, columns dance around the magnolia tree
Chinese tradition has always advocated a certain intuitive grasp, which makes it extremely difficult to interpret its connotation.
Li Zehou’s summary seems to be the most direct and clear: “The rhythm of music (as well as dance and poetry) should be matched with the movement of things in nature, the emotions of people, so as to organize and construct a mutually inductive isomorphism system.”
Architecture is samilar to music in terms of rhythm. Therefore, how to use spatial elements with a sense of rhythm to achieve this isomorphism with the environment – that is, “resonance” – to fit the scene and show the energy contained in it is what I am interested in.
▼建构分析，construction diagram ©活泼泼地
The environment of Mingyue Village naturally provides some kind of poetry: the tall masson pine and the dense bamboo forest present a natural lightness and slenderness; the undulating tea fields on the ground are thick, broad and endless – elegant yet plain.
Therefore, I prefer to call it “the dance of walls, slabs, columns, and openings around a magnolia tree.” This description implies a certain fairy tale scene: a white wall that has lost its geometric properties and has some spirituality , rammed earth walls, dark gray roofs, concrete platforms, black circular-section steel columns, doors and windows of various sizes gathered from all directions, dancing around the magnolia tree in the center, interweaving to form an earthy fairy-like atmosphere.
▼项目与自然环境，project and the natural environment ©王健庭
▼庭院鸟瞰，aerial view of the courtyard ©王健庭
纤细光滑的黑色钢柱破除常规的均匀柱网布置转而采用在整个空间中并灵活布置的自由柱阵，这种点阵布置使柱子获得了某种自主性和情绪：时而高，时而矮；时而密，时而疏；时而成组，时而散布；时而承顶，时而侧托。涂料质感的白色折墙与混凝土 – 夯土组合构成的暖色折墙如同两条空间中翻折的水袖，飘逸潇洒；深灰色真石漆栏板和建筑顶板组成的厚重屋面轻盈犹如燕翅排开：一翼中分水平，一翼长短对坡；直跑与折上的两座楼梯，就像屋面姿态的大幅度延伸，轻轻的落在庭院里，联系了地面、屋面和更高处的天台；两块略有高差的水平混凝土楼板交叠形成了庭院的地面和架空层的顶板，而架空层的混凝土挡土墙则在平面上曲折有致的成为黑色柱阵的背景。各种尺寸比例不同的洞口组团出行，随机嵌入墙面、屋面和楼板中——它们失去了几何的特征，获得了灵动的韵律。
In this process of intertwining and dancing, the whole formed by the flexible columns, the flowing walls and the light roof acquires a poetic rhythm are in harmony with nature: completely detached from the house, revealing a Chinese poetry that resonates with the surrounding landscape.
▼庭院概览，overall view of the courtyard ©王健庭
Speak to the environment
▼北侧立面，north facade ©王健庭
To the north is the main road of Mingyue Village and the Mingyue Kiln, so it is the main observation angle of the entire Ming Ting. The open green space that the building retreats from is also to accommodate more public activities: if the green space is the stage, then The expression of Ming Ting is the background of the stage. Simple silence is obviously the background should have, but I think there should be some kind of vividness in this simple silence.
Wu Guanzhong has painted two works in different periods, one is the early ” two swallows “, in which the details of south china dwellings are still more specific; the later one is more abstract, with name “Remembering south china “. I think the rhythm of the dotted line of the latter is appropriate to express here.
As a result, the slender glass curtain wall gap between the horizontal roof and the ground makes the white wall slightly staggering up and down to create a floating feeling. Two vertical openings that change the rhythm are embedded in the horizontal gap: one is the main entrance, the other being a mirror image of it, is a joke: one can enter, the other doesn’t. Several 30cm-square small windows are scattered on the white wall, and the cheerful rhythm is like a flock of flying chaffinches. The strip pool at the foot of the white wall adds a bit of spirituality to the site, and also adds a layer of hints between the courtyard and the green space: through the pool, the atmosphere of the space will change. The thick roof — “flat wing” appears stable, balancing the agility of the white wall, allowing the entire scene to spread on the ground.
▼主入口和它的镜像，main entrance and the mirrored image of it ©王健庭
The setting to the south is very different from the north: the masson pine forest, bamboo forest and the winding trail all suggest a certain tranquility. Therefore, all the different types of living spaces are oriented here: the rammed earth house, the dormitory with roof, and the small multi-purpose classroom enclosed by transparent glass, juxtaposed, crowded and dynamic. Observed from the overhead concrete platform, the huge double-opening eight (four on one side) wooden folding doors of the multi-functional glass classroom actually formed some kind of dialogue with the “Green Giant “. Several skylights with a height of 1.2 meters protruding from the roof are freely distributed on the slopes and children will have a kind of fun of hide and seek when running between them. The long slopes are gentle and the short slopes are steep, providing people with a changing visual height and an unstable physical experience.
external view from the southeast, elevated platform, rammed earth house and multi-purpose classroom enclosed by glass ©王健庭
▼混凝土平台，concrete platform ©王宝山
The east side is the narrowest part of the entire courtyard, and it is also where the north and south sides meet, so it naturally presents a state of confrontation: one side is a hollow “short slope wing” supported by exposed long columns, a horizontal double-layer rope Mesh roof balustrades and rammed earth houses with huge windows, built-in low columns on one side, relatively low heavy “horizontal wings”, twisted single-layer rope mesh stair balustrades and white walls with small square holes: The juxtaposition of many elements shows a “hand in hand” gesture and proper balance. Here is another view from a distance – the building look more like a small village.
▼东侧外观，external view from the east ©王健庭
▼不同要素并置，juxtaposition of different elements ©王健庭
It was the original idea to create a quiet side wing on the west side as a passage for internal use. In addition, the adjacent homestay project had been built before we started, so proper separation was an inevitable choice. I decided to place only the wooden double doors as the entrance on the surface of the horizontally extending white wall, and leave the rest blank. When people are outside the door, they can see that the warm yellow walls in the courtyard are attached to the dark gray stairs that turn upwards, indicating that there may be something inside; when people open the wooden door and enter the courtyard, they will find a rammed earth – The hill formed by the combination of the concrete folding wall and the dark grey folding staircase rushes towards the face.
▼西侧外观，external view from the west ©王健庭
Blurred borders and cascading depth of field
The interior of Ming Ting is full of various blurred boundaries:
▼开放的柱廊，open colonnade ©王健庭
▼屋面下的活动空间，activity space under the roof ©王健庭
Under the roof of the “long slope wing” with several square skylights, there is a completely transparent glass space. It was originally planned to be a dining room. When it was completed, Mrs. Xia directly changed it into a book corner: because the space here is relatively small, the wooden floor is laid, the landscape view is wide, and it is quieter. Wooden sliding doors and folding doors are set on the glass walls. When they are opened, the indoor and outdoor spaces are connected as a whole, and the “Green Giant” next to them can be seen in a glance.
▼方形天窗屋面下的通透空间，transparent space with square skylights ©王宝山
▼折叠门打开后，室内外空间连为一体，open the folding doors to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces as a whole ©王宝山
The rammed earth wall in the yard has changed from linear boundary to enclosed space on the plane. Carved with the large and small openings on the wall, it also forms a vague interface: both blocking sight and to be seen. When it is alone, it is like a screen or a shadow wall, and when combined with folding staircase, it is like a hill of mixed materials. In addition, it extends to the overhead floor and becomes a vertical connection between the upper and lower floors, enriching the patio space.
The blurred boundaries create holes and gaps that enliven the fluidity—not just the fluidity of space, but wind, sound, light, scenery, and more. There is no strong distinction between indoors and outdoors in Ming Ting: the rooms are like pavilions with walls, and the colonnade looks like open rooms. Therefore, walking and staying in the space is to feel different parts in a unified whole.
▼曲折的夯土墙，zigzag rammed earth walls ©王健庭
▼孔洞模糊边界，openings blur the boundary ©王健庭
The blurred boundary also gave birth to the layered depth of field. Observed through the horizontal strip opening of the rammed earth wall, the pillars, door frames, glass, and even the bamboo forest in the distance are all compressed into one picture, showing a certain image in a trance. A deep plane effect; on the other side, at the entrance of the stairs down to the overhead floor, through the vertical doorway of the rammed earth wall, you can see the two-step stairs with different distances, forming a strong contrast size in this scene. It seems to be like the huge lotus leaves and small swimming fish in the paintings of Bada Shanren; the huge wooden framed glass door of the main entrance is like a frame, and the porous block bricks, magnolia trees, rammed earth walls and rope net railings in the courtyard are intertwined. the content of it. In my opinion, its richness is no less than a vertical traditional Chinese painting. The masson pine in the distance shows its style on the super-long vertical canvas formed by the gaps of several tall black columns, and inexplicably creates a sense of intimacy with the columns.
▼透过条形洞口看向庭院，view to the courtyard through the strip opening ©王健庭
view to the glass surface, columns and bamboo forest through the strip opening ©王健庭
Stairs, door and window, landscape pools, magnolia trees, rammed earth walls, steel columns, roofs, rope net railings, these spatial elements have the same value to me regardless of their size. There is no difference between the pavilion, the pond, the fish and the rockery in a Chinese garden; and they also have a certain sense of equality with each other: because when it comes to composing the scene, there is no difference of importance.
It also proves once again that if the relationship is right, all the usual simple elements can be connected into a very rich world.
▼不同要素组成丰富空间，various elements creating rich spaces ©王健庭
Fragment of antithesis
A very important way in Chinese poetry to create a artistic conception is antithesis. Entrance white wall & horizontal roof and courtyard rammed earth wall & sloping roof: The horizontal glass strip at the lower part of the entrance white wall fluctuates, creating the feeling of the white wall being suspended. A dark, heavy horizontal roof is placed above, making the white walls appear light but balanced. The wooden framed glass door and the small square windows embedded in the surrounding form a rhythmic contrast – the courtyard interior view seen through the door and window openings makes the viewers have a certain curiosity to enter it. The rammed earth wall with horizontal strip openings in the courtyard is just the opposite: it stands stably on the ground of the courtyard, and the texture and texture of the wall appear warm. The slight slope of the roof adds a touch of liveliness to this stable scene.
white wall at the entrance and irregular square openings ©王健庭
▼木框玻璃门与方形小窗形成对比，contrast between the wooden framed glass door and the square openings ©徐刚
▼白墙与水院，white wall and the water courtyard ©王健庭
玻璃 – 夯土长短廊：多功能玻璃教室的北侧和东侧，分别毗邻两道夯土墙，于是就形成了长短两条廊道：对于短廊，夯土墙更多展现出材料的粗糙质感和水平分层肌理，对于长廊，带有水平通长洞口的夯土墙显现出了厚度，且带出了整个庭院明亮丰富的场景。因为LOW-E处理而带有反射性的透明玻璃则呈现出内部通透空间与外部环境镜像的混合，从而产生了某种梦幻效果：一实一虚，亦实亦虚。
Glass – Rammed Earth Long and Short Corridors: The north and east sides of the multi-functional glass classroom are adjacent to two rammed earth walls respectively, thus forming two corridors: For the short corridor, the rammed earth walls show more roughness of the material. For the long corridor, the rammed earth wall with horizontal openings brings out the light and rich scene of the whole courtyard. The reflective transparent glass due to the LOW-E treatment presents a mixture of the internal transparent space and the mirror image of the external environment, resulting in a kind of dream effect: one real and one virtual, both real and virtual.
▼夯土墙形成的廊道，corridors formed by rammed earth walls ©王健庭
▼玻璃-夯土长廊，glass-rammed earth corridor ©王健庭
Straight running ladder and folding ladder: The straight running stair in the northeast corner of the courtyard is independent, showing fast and smooth, as if to directly reach the sky. The thick whole connected with the roofs on both sides is like arms spread out in the air, embracing the whole courtyard enthusiastically; while the folded stair in the southwest corner is attached, it turns between the rammed earth wall, the roof and the yellow paint wall and provides the body with the opportunity to observe the courtyard and the surrounding landscape at different heights and angles. When reaching the rooftop, you can get the experience of “seeing the mountains and small”.
▼东北角的直跑楼梯，staircase at the northeast corner ©王健庭
▼西南角的折形楼梯，folded staircase on the southwest corner ©王健庭
▼楼梯顶部的平台，platform on the top of the staircase ©王健庭
Double-sided pavilion and rammed earth rooms: The dormitory with roof is the highest and largest independent space in the entire courtyard, and it is also the place where Mrs. Xia’s family lives and does research. I call it “Double-sided Pavilion”: white walls on three sides, and warm yellow to the north: the warm enthusiasm to the north suggests the direction to enter it from the courtyard. Doors and windows of different sizes on the outer wall extend into the interior. In contrast, there are four single storey rammed-earth houses in scattered layout. Two “single rooms” under the roof of the “horizontal wing” on the north side are relatively smaller and more independent; and two “group rooms” under the roof of the “long slope wing” in the southeast corner are formed by bending and enclosing a higher wall, with a huge window on the wall to observe the scenery: The change of the opening and the compositional relationship make the double-sided pavilion and the rammed earth house have their own rhythms: bigger or smaller, more elegant or more textured.
▼西南侧双面阁高耸的白色墙体，white volume of the double-sided pavilion on the southwest corner ©王宝山
▼双面阁，double-sided pavilion ©王健庭
▼双面阁内的休息空间，resting space inside the double-sided pavilion ©王健庭
▼东南角夯土组房，rammed earth rooms on the southeast corner ©王健庭
▼夯土房室内，interior of the rammed earth room ©王健庭
Magnolia tree anchoring the courtyard
The magnolia tree moved from the village is the only landscape tree in the courtyard. The original intention of choosing magnolia is because I have several magnolia trees downstairs in my studio in Beijing, both white and pink. When spring comes, the trees are in full bloom, and the fragrance of flowers is refreshing. Before going to work or taking a break, I will go downstairs to feel the fragrance of magnolias. It is obviously a good choice to use the smell to dominate the space.
In addition, the shape of the magnolia tree looks neat and fresh, and when the flowers bloom, it exudes a rich, full and delicate feeling. Of course, another important thing is local transplantation. What’s even more interesting is that the place where Mrs. Xia opened “summer quiet academy” in Dujiangyan in the past was called “Magnolia Garden”.
So, in the spring of 2021, this magnolia tree was transplanted to Ming Ting, whose structure had just been capped. When I look at it again in August, it is full of green. After the construction was completed in October, it was covered with the golden color of autumn; in the past few days in early December, Wang Jianting told me that now I can enjoy the “deciduous rain” of magnolia trees in the courtyard.
▼庭院中的玉兰树，the magnolia treen in the courtyard ©王健庭
▼盛开的玉兰花，magnolia blooms ©王健庭
From the beginning to the completion, I emphasize to Wang Jianting: in the courtyard on the first floor, there can only be this magnolia tree, and never add any other plants, not even potted plants – this is precisely to make Magnolia acts as a landscape center to anchor and activate the entire courtyard. As can be seen after the completion of the house: through the colonnade of the semi-outdoor multi-purpose classroom, the openings of different lengths and sizes in the rammed earth wall, the overlook from the roof platform, the different heights of the stairs, near or far, or cloudy, or strong light and shadow, the characteristics of the magnolia tree in each scene combination change, but its identity as a visual anchor point remains. The surrounding white walls, rammed earth walls, roofs and stairs are all developed around it, and the scenery outside the courtyard is transformed to be a background of it.
Li Yu of the Qing Dynasty said in “Leisurely Occasionally Sent” that magnolia is a good flower, and if it meets a night of light rain, all of them change color. … So when this flower blooms, it is urgent to enjoy. Perhaps it is a little regrettable just looking at the flowering period. However, judging from the harmonious rhythm of the interaction between the magnolia tree and other elements in the courtyard, as well as the nourishment of life contained, it will show a more profound charm with the passage of time.
One day, when I was looking at these photos taken from different angles, I suddenly realized that the magnolia tree has become the reference of this courtyard – all the elements, unconsciously, are measured by it.
▼透过不同开口看向玉兰树，view to the magnolia tree through different openings ©王健庭
Layered storage for light and scenery
From experience, the Ming Ting is divided into three layers: ground layer, courtyard layer and roof layer.
The ground layer is a free and open plan supported by irregularly arranged steel columns, with a slender channel for the drainage of rainwater meandering in between, and the gravel on the ground suggests the feature of being connected to the land. The surrounding plants appear brighter and even melt into the light, while the patio with the rammed earth wall in the middle and the revetment made of concrete blocks on the west side bring in the upper light. In this background the people’s communication with the land will be more abundant.
▼架空层，砾石铺地，ground floor covered by gravel ©王健庭
▼通往上层的楼梯，stairs towards the upper floor ©王健庭
On the courtyard layer, you can feel the bright environment and rich texture that is very different from the overhead level. On the walls and roofs that define the boundary, there are horizontal doors, windows and skylight openings with different sizes, different heights from the ground, different environments, and different surface material textures, so that the external pastoral and sky can be transformed into landscapes with different compositions: some is an independent close-up, some is a part of the hanging angle, some is a dense close-up view, and some is a jagged distant view. It is these meticulously collected landscapes that allow the courtyard to expand to a wider perimeter in an appropriate manner.
▼庭院层，courtyard layer ©王健庭
Chinese people always like to climb high. When you go up the dark gray stairs to the roof, you will find the sky and the three immortals appear: with the change of position and perspective, the “ Green giant ” in the front, the “thin ponytail” in the middle, the “Xiling snow” in the distant. And the whole sky comes into view with a full posture. I even often have an illusion: I can walk into the “ Green giant ” along the sloping roof, with a “Thin ponytail” planted on the glass skylight, and I can touch the “Xiling snow” through the thick railing. When someone overlook, he or she can “read the long journey of heaven and earth”. A place to comprehend the relationship between people and the world has been formed. The three talents of heaven, earth, and man meet together.
▼深灰色楼梯通向屋面，dark gray staircase towards the rooftop ©王健庭
▼天台空间，rooftop platform ©王健庭
A hill composed of “rammed earth-concrete” walls and folding stairs
The scenery of Mingyue Village is open and pastoral. I think it would be interesting to build a mountain in the courtyard. Feng Jizhong said in his “Opinions on Scenery “: “The total feeling is more than the sum of the parts, where does it come from? … It is mainly in the combination of openness and mystery, that is, in the sequence of openness and concealment of space. ” If the surrounding landscape of Ming Ting is open then the courtyard of Ming Ting is mysterious; if the courtyard and the overhead floors are open, then the rammed earth, concrete and dark gray folded stair are mysterious.
“small mountain” created by the staircase and the rammed earth walls ©徐刚
从架空层观察，夯土墙被天井引入的光线打亮，巨大的放脚台阶吸引人过去探个究竟。然而当拾级而上时，忽然发现水平通道只容一人通过。此时若抬头望去，顿感混凝土墙和夯土墙有如不同石质的陡壁悬空，而折形楼梯从高处掠过如巨石飞卧，墙面大小对比的洞口更显参差险峻：颇有“仰止”的味道。再前行转身登上楼梯，则发现混凝土框架与夯土墙组合而成的错落“山门”已在眼前，周遭明亮，只待紧走几步，便可一睹庭院美景。如此依靠“暗旷 – 深奥 – 明旷”的节奏，在方寸之地中真实的营造出了一座“巨大的空山”。内有新雨后的空山，外有松间照的明月，这场景居然与辋川的王维做了跨越时空的对话，不知是巧合，还是一种必然。
Observed from the ground layer, the rammed earth wall is illuminated by the light introduced by the patio, and attract people to go and explore. However, when they went up the stairs, they suddenly found that the horizontal passage only allowed one person to pass through. If you look up at this time, you will feel that the concrete wall and the rammed earth wall are suspended like steep walls of different stone materials, while the folded stairs pass from a height like a boulder flying up, and the contrasting wall are even more rugged and steep. Going forward and turning around to walk up the stairs, you will find that the “mountain gates” composed of concrete frames and rammed earth walls are already in front of you, and the surroundings are bright. You can take a few steps to see the beautiful view of the courtyard. There is an empty mountain after the new rain inside, and a bright moon shining among the pine trees outside. This scene actually had a dialogue across time and space with Wang Wei of Tang dynasty. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or a necessity.
▼漂浮的峭壁，floating steep walls ©王健庭
▼参差交错的墙面，jagging walls ©王健庭
▼从楼梯间看向天空，look up at the sky from the staircase ©王健庭
Raw and vivid
Zao Wou-Ki once said, “If you want to be vivid, then your technique must be raw.” This is obviously the real secret: once all the processes and details are mastered, the entire work may lose its vitality completely— — This is precisely the common dilemma today in the context of capital chasing efficiency. Therefore, I am excited when faced with various changes or problems on the scene – these unexpected encounters may lead to a certain “raw ” state.
There are roughly two reasons for the problems in project. One is that the design is not comprehensive enough or the details are not considered, and the other is that various conditions change here and now. Actually both are unavoidable and sometimes influence each other – so I gave up very early on defining the outcome of the build exactly as originally designed, which of course doesn’t mean that any runaway is acceptable – —– All specific changes should happen on the premise that the original intention of the design remains unchanged. In addition, the wisdom of the craftsmen who are actually working on the construction is beyond the imagination of the designers, and the proper combination of the two sides can often bring surprises.
▼施工现场，construction site ©王健庭
The water spout on the roof platform, the open-air rammed earth wall in the courtyard, the rope mesh fence and the metal screw door handle are some typical examples. Originally I hope to be able to observe the state of water falling from a height to the ground on a rainy day. The perfect picture in my mind is the water slides down like a parabola, but the reality is opposite —when the rain is not strong enough, the water not only cannot be thrown gracefully, but fells down vertically. It splashed the surrounding walls! Fortunately, the construction workers have brilliant minds—— made an arc-shaped drip with steel sheet and welded it on the lower edge of the circular nozzle, so that the problem has been satisfactorily solved.
The open-air rammed earth wall in the courtyard was originally considered because of the use of modern technology, the performance has been improved, and it is protected by a concrete frame, which can withstand daily rainwater. However, the real knowledge came out in practice. Someday after the completion, Wang Jianting asked me: “The rammed earth wall in the courtyard has moss growing, what I should do?” After discussing it together, we decided to add eyelashes to the rammed earth wall and try it: 5cm wide concrete overhanging—so the problem is solved, and the rammed earth wall no longer has to worry about rainy days. Moreover, these concrete eyelashes look pretty.
▼混凝土挑檐和吐水口，concrete frame and water spout ©王健庭
The rope net fence adopts the combination of prefabricated rope net and steel frame, which is to express a transparent and stable lightness through the combination of rigidity and softness, and at the same time, it is natural and friendly. There are two types of rope net fences: one is a double-layer steel keel, the whole rope net is fixed by wrapping the keel and then knotted; the other is a single-layer keel, the rope net is directly fixed on the surface of the keel; because the double-layer keel is installed with a rope net, one can directly tighten the net surface. But when fixing the rope net on the surface of the single-layer keel, the problem is found: it is difficult for the rope net to form a flat surface, and the wrinkle will greatly affect the effect. It is mainly due to the lack of sufficient tension in the mesh surface. At this time, Wang Jianting contributed to the method of using horizontally thin steel wires to strengthen the soft rope net surface, and successfully solved the problem.
The metal screw, hexagonal long nut, and flat steel sheet are the materials required for making the door handle. The original plan was to weld the steel sheet to the corner of the nut. The construction manager Xu Gang adjusted the welding position from the corner to the screw because the welding is easier to handle and stronger afterwards. In addition, purchasing these unconventional metal components in the markets around the countryside also took him a lot of effort.
▼金属把手和绳网栏板，metal door handle and rope net fence ©王健庭
Looking back today, the intuition was accurate. Ming Ting is such a story which contains many vivid elements: it often has to face a number of controllable out-of-controls, and get some unexpected gains; some details are unsatisfactory, but the relationship is clear and precise; Few abstract concepts, many concrete practices; not much logic, often intuition. It is these specific and vivid small events that occur with the passage of time, which accumulate a poetic feeling that is not worn by time like in classical literature.
▼建筑细部，architectural details ©王健庭
From the start of construction to the completion of the project, Wang Jianting continued to take photos, and updated as they lived in it: clear snow-capped mountains in the distance on sunny days, the parabola drawn by rainwater along the steel drips, the ” fallen leaves rain ” of magnolia tree, the reflection of the masson pine forest projected on the glass skylight, the light from the horizontally extending glass gap at night, and the bright moon overhead…
I said, “Your photo is very vivid.”
He replied: “It’s mainly because I stayed here for a long time and kept taking photos.”
This is indeed very different from our usual architectural photography. Although the composition is not very elegant and the elements are not clear enough, the power of time and situation contained in it has far exceeded the scope of spatial expression.
▼夜景，night view ©王健庭
房子建成没多久，确切的说是还没完全建成，就开始使用了。健庭和夏老师不断地发给我一些热闹的生活场景：城里小朋友来过夏令营，村里小朋友打乒乓球和羽毛球，上午在白墙表面投影给大家办小型讲座，傍晚集体收看动漫电影《龙猫》 ，三五好友在玉兰树旁煮茶畅谈，…… 隔着画面都能感觉到所有人自然流露的活力与快乐。
As Wang Shu said: “Gardens are made for life. The best tradition in China is to combine the digestion of the whole epistemology of nature and the reaction of the body. These two things must be discussed together. , if you have this state and consciousness, it doesn’t matter whether you are really imitating a garden, or making something that is directly like a garden.”
It didn’t take long for the house to be built or to be exact, it was not fully built, and it began to be used. Wang Jianting and Mrs. Xia kept sending me some lively life scenes: children in the city came to the summer camp, local children played table tennis and badminton, lectures on the white wall in the morning, and watched the animation movie “Dragon Cat ” in the evening, three or five friends are making tea beside the magnolia tree and chatting, … Across the screen, you can feel the vitality and happiness that everyone naturally reveals.
▼庭院中丰富的活动，activities in the courtyard ©上左：夏莉莉，上右/下：王健庭
▼架空层平面图，ground floor plan ©活泼泼地
▼首层平面图，first floor plan ©活泼泼地
▼二层平面图，second floor plan ©活泼泼地
▼屋顶平面图，roof pla ©活泼泼地
设计时间：2016年4月 – 2019年2月
建造时间：2019年9月 – 2021年10月
Project Name: Mingting Rural-Education School
Project Location: Mingyue Village, Ganxi Town, Pujiang County, Chengdu, Sichuan
Client: Chengdu Mingting Cultural Creative Co. Ltd.
Project Group: livil Architects
Architect: Liu Chongxiao
Structural Engineer: Liu Shengpeng
Design Scheme: Liu Chongxiao, Han Li, Pan Yue
Construction Drawing Team: Sichuan Huarui Engineering Design Co. Ltd.
Project Management: Wang Jianting
Construction Manager: Xu Gang
Design Time: April 2016 – February 2019
Construction Time: September 2019 – October 2021
Project Area: 1079 square meters
Photography: Wang Jianting, Wang Baoshan, Xu Gang, Liu Chongxiao, Xia Lili