Village House Prototype, From Concept to Construction

Related Staff : Olivier Ottevaere

Keywords: Concrete formwork, Timber framing, Material properties, Structure performance, Construction procedures, Nature

The studio not only explores how a concept of a building can be transformed into a real built experience but also experiments with materials in practice as well as suitable building technologies for rural construction in China.

Rather than focusing on broader village revitalization issues, we specifically rethink architecture’s relationship to nature in the countryside by developing a prototypical house. Located between mountains and farming fields, the chosen site for the house is a sloped terrain, initiating a productive tension between ground and roof.

The house’s construction will be sponsored by the local government in Guizhou, Urban Environment Design magazine (UED Beijing) and China Building Centre (CBC Beijing), presenting an alternative educational platform for township construction in China.

To prototype (‘first-strike’ in Greek) a house in this specific context has the potential to open up a series of chain changes in larger rural areas and to generalize more pragmatic results; benefiting the local industry, injecting new social and cultural resources in the area and promoting new economic conditions.

Through hands-on experimentation with materials and their active properties (e.g. formwork for concrete casting), the studio seeks novel construction procedures able to influence the project outcome and direct its design process and methodology.

A site visit also serves as essential design criteria to the house’s development.

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