“An integral pastoral complex is an ideal in itself, the form in which agriculture and cultural tourism can be better integrated.” – Zou Yingxi
▼田园综合体及周边环境鸟瞰，aerial view of the project and its surroundings
Following the swift progressof the new urbanization and rural revitalization driven by cultural tourism, Wuxi Pastoral Oriental –China’s first integral pastoral complex–, is constantly being updated.Having experienced togetherwith Pastoral Oriental the design, construction, operation and exploration of Phase I (East and Demonstration Areas), SYN Architects fully directed the overall planning and architectural design of Wuxi Pastoral Oriental’s Phase II (North Area) and immersed itself in the physical side of commercialactivities to verify theapplicability of the design and, once again with Pastoral Oriental, continue to research the ideal model and methodology to achieve rural revitalization. Regarding the planning and design of a pastoral complex,implementation of both aspects involves the integration betweenspace and culture, a unique practice that has developed into the very essence of rural revitalization. The way we build greatly contributes to the integration of the first, second and third industries in China; promotes income generation and employment in local areas, and collectively benefits villages; thus becoming the core of the design. Even more, such a design concept requires emotional sensitivity, good will of service, in-depth understanding of the countryside and experience in project operation.
▼晨雾中的田园综合体，integral pastoral complex in morning mist
Wuxi Pastoral Oriental’s Phase II (hereafter referred as Phase II) is located in Yangshan, Wuxi –a town famous for growing delicious peaches–, about 2km from the already completed Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Demonstration Area (hereafter referred as Phase I). The construction area occupies around 440 hectares and thewater systems from both phasesare interconnected. As a functional area for the project’s regional expansion, the construction of Phase II is a process that perfectly fits into the nature of the whole project. While incrementing business possibilities and cultural content, the design strives to connect both regions as much as possible, digest more people, foster social capital, promote consumption, and drive regional development.
On the one hand,Phase I isa comprehensive demonstration onrural development.At its core, it delivers family holidays on the countryside thatcombine food, accommodation, amusement parks, markets, workshops, countryside education, spas, etc., in a single, complete resort. On the other hand, the construction of Phase II emphasizes the infrastructure of Yangshan town, contributing to commercial development. Phase II sits on the original location of Hongqiao Village. It follows modern trends on cultural tourism and commercial space organization to construct two countryside parks and a thematic commercial street that provide a fusion between entertainment and casual consumption in the form of a new pastoral town for cultural tourism.
▼二期的建设更关注对阳山镇的基础建设配合，与商业发展协同，the construction of Phase II emphasizes the infrastructure of Yangshan town, contributing to commercial development
Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Phase II embraces “emotional carving” as its central design idea. Through scene creation, the design concept builds up a sense of association and “emotional”relationship between building groups. The small bridge at the entrance of the village, the village square at the meeting point among other similar elements provide a rich atmosphere imbued with emotions proper from the countryside. To the east and the west, landscape and commercial elements can be appreciated, while the central line and the west side remain closer to the parks. There are also associated paths that lead to the farmlands on the east side, an expressive resource that produces rich emotional responses. At the same time, the design of Phase II pays more attention to attract “people”. After years of research on strategic and policy oriented design for rural projects, as well as on-site experience, Zou Yingxi –main architect of the project–, believes that the core of a village’s identity is “people”. There are only two kinds of people in China, those that live in cities and those who live in the countryside. However, a third kind is emerging today, a new countrymanprepared with knowledge. Furthermore, resources and capital flow toward the countryside,providing important support to pastoral complexes. Altogether, these elements constitute the core behind rural revitalization. Therefore, the planning and construction of the village must focus on service and people, benefit locals and provide a sense of general wellbeing and satisfaction. In this way, more and more new countrymen will come to stay and contribute to the creation of a better future.
▼小镇商街动线分析图，commercial street flow analysis
Design planning in terms of space and functionality needs to help villages break barriers, and allow people from both cities and the countryside to interact. During the design of Phase II, SYN Architects proposed to “part away with traditional real estate”, and strengthen industries and operations. It is worthto mention that this concept does not reject real estate projects, but allows them to become means to achieve urban-rural integration, and develop good terms with pastoral culture, cultural tourism and agricultural construction.In this sense, impeccable facilities attract new farmers who love countryside scenes and rural constructions to settle in the area. To achieve this goal, they are provided with appropriate property spaces, employment opportunities, quality education opportunities for their children, as well as other complementary services. This solves the obstacles that people face when settling in the countryside, by helping talented people to “move in, settle down, get to work, and have a future”, and achieve a countryside defined by common ground elements such as “innovative agriculture, innovative towns, entrepreneurship, and the entertainment industry”. In the end, pastoral projects will achieve harmony and healthy growth in the countryside.
▼塑造“农创+乡创+创业+乐业”的众创田园画面，the project achieves a countryside defined by common ground elements such as “innovative agriculture, innovative towns, entrepreneurship, and the entertainment industry”
Design View and Implementation
The construction of the town’s center at Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Phase II has been completed. The core consists of a commercial street and two themed countryside parks. The project is an extension that complements the experience obtained from Phase I. Even more, from the perspective of the commercial development of Yangshan Town, the project makes products more readily available to the future residents of the area.
▼田园东方二期的小镇中心由一条核心商街和两个主题田野乐园构成，the construction of the town’s center at Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Phase II consists of a commercial street and two themed countryside parks
It is worth to mention that the world’s first “Plants vs. Zombies”themed countryside park as well as the Chinese “Crazy Tractor Farm” themed countryside park will provide new sources of entertainment in the project. Renowned brands plus non-powered parks form the perfect integration between modern commercial entertainment and natural countryside life, as they provide elements of popularity and excitement, along with a cheerful platform useful for natural education.From the perspective of entertainment and education for families, themed parks are the perfect holiday destination. The excellent results obtained on Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Phase II show that this new business format is more than viable and, without a doubt, will be integrated into more design planning projects by SYN Architects in the future.
▼国内自主原创乐园IP“疯狂拖拉机农场”，Chinese “Crazy Tractor Farm” themed countryside park
▼全球首个“植物大战僵尸农场”乐园，the world’s first “Plants vs. Zombies”themed countryside park
“Peach Street”is a cluster of new buildings based on the original site that constitute the core between both themed parks. The overall vision of the structures presents white walls and bluish green tiles. Bamboo and wood finishes further create the atmosphere of a traditional village that blends inwith the surrounding forests and mountains. At the same time, modern materials such as glass, steel, etc., are used partially to define an architectural language with contemporary elements, thus achieving harmonious performance with innovation and continuity, never blunt, never abrupt.
▼连接了两个乐园的核心商街“蜜桃街”是一条在原址基础上以新建筑构成的建筑集群，“Peach Street”is a cluster of new buildings based on the original site that constitute the core between both themed parks
The Peach Story Hall at the south entrance of the town is a representative building. The front presents the shape of a peach and is the only building with a modern appearance in the area. It represents the local peach industry and features its production and highlights, deeply integrating it with innovative cultural tourism to portray a dynamic atmosphere of industrial innovation.
▼小镇南部入口处的蜜桃故事馆，是整个街区的代表性建筑，the Peach Story Hall at the south entrance of the town is a representative building
Although the Peach Story Hall is a modern building, its materials are in harmony with the surrounding environment. The façade is oriented toward the commercial street and uses exquisite wood materials for decoration that integrate with the overall scenery. The opposite side faces countryside fields and uses volcanic rock that connects with nature and represents local culture. Moreover, the vast use of environmentally friendly bamboo panels in the structure emphasizes the essence of rural architecture.
▼建筑面对商街的立面选择了木材质装饰，与街道的整体视觉融合，the façade is oriented toward the commercial street and uses exquisite wood materials for decoration that integrate with the overall scenery
▼另一面面对田野则选择了代表当地火山文化的的火山岩，与自然连接，the opposite side faces countryside fields and uses volcanic rock that connects with nature and represents local culture
The Rural Revitalization Institute is another landmark construction in harmony with the entrance and the Peach Story Hall. It features a glass wall within a framework of bamboo and wood materials, bringing to mind a comfortable place by the water and peach trees. One side in particular presents a two-story high glass curtain that faces the local landscape: The Dayang Mountain.
▼入口处与蜜桃故事馆呼应的乡村振兴讲习所则是另一个标志性建筑，the Rural Revitalization Institute is another landmark construction in harmony with the entrance and the Peach Story Hall
▼在竹木材质的框架内内，以玻璃幕墙为特征，临水而居，与桃林相映，it features a glass wall within a framework of bamboo and wood materials, bringing to mind a comfortable place by the water and peach trees
The use of glass allows interiors to feel as if they were wide open, interacting with the sky and surrounding landscape. The second floor of the building is designed as a platform with a view toward the commercial street and Yangshan Mountain. It uses materials to match the view such as bamboo, wood and brick. When the peach trees are in full bloom, the structures are partially covered by them and from a distance, the project looks like a village naturally integrated into the forests. Such emotional carving creates a subtle echo between architecture and the environment.
▼建筑的二层设计了可以环视商街和阳山两个角度的开阔平台，视觉风格上以砖瓦木竹呈现，the second floor of the building is designed as a platform with a view toward the commercial street and Yangshan Mountain. It uses materials to match the view such as bamboo, wood and brick
In terms of content, SYN Architects extended the vitality of their design into the commercial aspect of the project by setting up their own brand of coffee. The “Coffee Shop” explores an innovative way to integrate with the countryside that goes from highlighting simple lifestyle values to providing a social platform to serve rural development.
▼以自有咖啡品牌入驻为空间打底，SYN Architects extended the vitality of their design into the commercial aspect of the project by setting up their own brand of coffee
▼咖啡馆内部，interior of the coffee shop
Furthermore, while maintaining sales of “cultural, rural and innovative” products based on the concept from the Pastoral Life Hall from Phase I, the commercial street uses the entrance to the “Plants vs. Zombies” Park as a focal point to design a market square. A shed structure made of steel and bamboo functions as the core of the concept, while the integration of several small spaces delivers the atmosphere of an outdoor theater. Also following the usual countryside’s ways for social interaction, another important space for content is the town center, a place that enriches interactivity in the project.
▼空间通过一个钢、竹结构的棚状构筑物为核心归拢，并通过小型下沉空间的处理形成聚合与室外的剧场感，a shed structure made of steel and bamboo functions as the core of the concept, while the integration of several small spaces delivers the atmosphere of an outdoor theater
Thoughts on Design
The countrysideneeds attention and even more sustainable development. Design in the countryside is gradually developing from being eye-catching, to become a specific problem-solving strategy. Here, the starting point of design requires designers to think more from the perspective of industrial development. Besides aesthetics, the policy design service SYN Architects provides in large regional countryside projects pays particular attention to feasibility, fulfillment and sustainability, solving questions such as how to use local resources to complete construction, how to achieve design performance throughlocal workers and technology, etc. Such are the subjects that need to be addressed by people who design for the countryside.
▼商业街建筑立面细节，facade detail of the commercial street
“For countryside projects, we must think whether design will solve the problem or create a problem. Regarding system engineering for rural revitalization, designers need to restrain themselves and learn to provide the right design. In other words, reduce difficulty and improve practicality.” According to this train of thought,Zou Yingxi will implement “part away with design” as the service guideline of SYN Architects.With the industry booming, ecological habitation, a civilized countryside and effective governance,a prosperous rural revitalization is gradually expanding in China at a grand scale. SYN Architects participates in the field of rural construction, and has started new forms of practice and exploration in policy design for urban and rural integrated development. In this way, SYN Architects strives to design modern cities and a civilized countryside, integrating social production, social activities and the beautiful scenery of a cheerful life.
▼袈蓝咖啡与乡村讲习所夜景，night view of the SYN coffee shop and Rural Revitalization Institute
规划及建筑设计：刘建生 蒋志华 张弛；
室内设计：夏福强 钱国兴 何敏 冯炎 曹真真 刘婷婷 李倩茜 郭萌佳
Project Name: Wuxi Pastoral Oriental Phase II
Project Design: SYN Architects
Presiding Architect: Yingxi Zou
Architectural Design Team: Jiansheng Liu , Zhihua Jiang, Chi Zhang
Interior Design Team: Fuqiang Xia, Guoxing Qian, Min He, Yan Feng, Zhenzhen Cao, Tingting Liu, Qianxi Li, Jiameng Guo
Project Type: Pastoral Complex
Project Location: Wuxi, Jiangsu Province
Site Area: 440 ha