Normal Village of China
Qili village is one of the most common villages in Zhejiang and Jiangsu, but it represents the most typical batch. Epitome of most rural area in Zhejiang and Jiangsu can been seen here, such as flat terrain, vast paddy fields scattered street shops and new rural settlements. Some old neighborhoods along the river are small in scale. With the construction of new countryside, traces of development and change in the times have been left to some extent.
▼村口的党群中心，Party and Public Center at the entrance of the village ©赵奕龙
Party and Publice Center of Qili Village is located at the entrance of Qili Village, Gaoqiao street, Tongxiang. Rebuilt from a school of 1990s. It used to be a factory for a period of time. This single corridor, three story slab building is ordinary. Although it does not have the cornices and woodwork as traditional ancient buildings in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, as an ordinary Chinese rural building, in these 30 years of changes, this building is closely related to the life of the village and villagers, changing roles, and bearing the memory of several generations.
▼党群中心与东院的农田，building and the farmland to the east ©赵奕龙
▼党群中心与村民广场，Party and Public Center with a public plaza ©赵奕龙
Reconstruction of role and memory
The reconstruction of such a building is not only a project for Qili Village, but also a continuation of the story and a reshaping of cultural life. The public and cultural attributes of the site should be restored and activated, public forecourt need to restore popularity, and educational buildings should be continued to spread culture and education. After the transformation, the space bears more roles and responsibilities. The office of the village committee has been moved from the opposite corner. The original teaching building has been used as the main building of the office of the village committee. The car shed becomes a village history corridor, and the playground changes to a villagers’ activity square. The introduction of rural library provides a new learning place, inherits the enlightenment and development of the cultural cognition in the village, and becomes an important driving of rural culture. After the completion of the Committee Center, the role of the building has been reshaped, and it has once again become a gathering place of cultural life at the entrance of the village.
▼村委大院，village committee compound ©赵奕龙
▼乡村书屋，rural library ©赵奕龙
▼村史长廊，village history corridor ©赵奕龙
Entrance Courtyard of Village
“There is a big gap between rural buildings whether it has yard. Chinese life style is centered around yards.”
▼院落生成，generation of the courtyard ©森上建筑设计
The utilize of the original playground is an important part of the Party and Public Center. Breaking the closed boundary and creating an open village committee compound can help it become the gathering place of Qili Village’s cultural life and give the traditional village the attribute of gathering leisure. The scale and state closer to the public space of traditional villages, bring people more intimate atmosphere and become a public activity space for village cadres and villagers to participate in and interact with each other. On both sides of the courtyard, there are a large area of wind and rain corridor, forming a flexible space and creating more leisure and cultural activities.
▼开放式的村民广场，open square for the villagers ©赵奕龙
▼大院 – 村民广场，courtyard, public plaza for the villagers ©赵奕龙
▼长廊 – 天井组成的空间格局，relationship between the corridor and the courtyard ©森上建筑设计
The small courtyard and patio make the activity experience in the large courtyard and corridor more diverse and delicate. The combination of the multi-scale courtyard and the landscape make the space between the building and the corridor full of vitality and comfort. The interlaced walls also make the courtyard more interesting and hierarchical. This form , which combined with the courtyard space, breaks the seriousness sense of normal committee office building and creates a diversified village courtyard atmosphere.
▼院落与天井，courtyard and the sky well ©赵奕龙
The construction of the library breaks away from the rigid one-line architectural form in the spatial layout, which makes the building group enclosed. The overhead type design makes the library as little as possible to occupy the public square space and maintains the openness and freedom of the bottom square. The design of village history and culture corridor ensure the continuous spatial form and leaves the mark of village time.
▼廊下架空的空间，elevated space under the corridor ©赵奕龙
▼从架空空间看向广场，view to the plaza from the elevated space ©赵奕龙
▼施工过程，construction process ©森上建筑设计
▼不同材料的砌筑，construction of different materials ©森上建筑设计
The building’s sense of construction and material property are the representation of rural houses’ warmth. Through the overlapping of materials to express and retain part of the historical memory, let the building become the carrier of content. During the reconstruction of the Party and Public Center, local old materials are recycled and utilized to ensure the traditional sense of construction. The concrete pouring corridor, the cement brick enclosure, the old black and red brick exhibition wall, without painting, all of these reflect the rural construction technology.
▼砌筑与光影，light and shadows created by different construction methods ©赵奕龙
Building houses in the countryside is most constructive. Clear structure and less decoration, material and framework can be discerned. Regardless of style and form, they all have a strong sense of structure and masonry. Constructiveness has been emphasized during rebuild period. The exposed floor and column are clearly displayed. The masonry of the wall also has different stacking methods. In the public space on the first floor, local material and old bricks which are recycled from surrounding villages are utilized to lay the exhibition walls and enclosing walls. The second and third floors are built with hollow cement bricks through two groups of modules and staggered joint method. Due to the different depth of the entity, subtle light and shadow are formed on the facade, the indoor corridor is protected from direct sunlight. People shuttling between them can also feel the mild atmosphere bring by the light and shadow changes of cement bricks.
Not only in the construction of materials and structures, the cultural life is also an important part of rural construction. Every village has its unique value and every old house may describe the memory and emotion of people’s life. This old primary school used to be the place where the local villagers grew up, bearing the memories of many people. Now the construction of the library has aroused the feelings of the past and rebuilt the cultural atmosphere here. More than 1080 books donated by local villagers filled the bookshelves, and the government cooperate to improve the place for reading and learning. Recycled historical objects are displaying in the village history and culture corridor, which deepens villagers’ feelings for countryside life. The villagers’ emotion and memory of daily life can not be ignored. Rural construction should not only emphasis the implementation of the project, but also need to stimulate the enthusiasm of the people in countryside to participate in the contemporary rural cultural life.
▼乡村书屋中的阅览室，reading space in the rural library ©赵奕龙
▼与书架结合的阅读空间，reading space integrated with the bookshelves ©赵奕龙
▼一层平面图，first floor plan ©森上建筑设计
▼二层平面图，second floor plan
Project name: Party and Public Center of Qili Village
Design Company: Hangzhou SSDesign
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
Main Design Team: Zhang Juntian, Sun Hongfei, Wang Xin, Hong Shiwei, Chen Han (internship)
The structure design: Su Qingjun
Customer: QiLi Village
Location: Tongxiang, Zhejiang
Completion Year: 2020.11
Gross Built Area: 2000㎡
Main material: Steel, Concrete, Black brick, Cement block
Photography: Zhao Yilong