The main purpose of this studio centred its attention on a design research and methodology of an existing three-section assemblage on the lakeside of Lake Wenbi, located in the historic town of Lijiang up at the northwest part of the Yunnan Province. Students were requested to analyse and reconnoitre the landscape, sociology, economy and geography factors that play a leading role in the development of this well-known town of narrow spider-web paths, bridges and ancient Chinese Architecture, thus creating design strategies for the Three Houses Mini-Resortfrom a harmony with the landscape and culture of Lijiiang’s charming combination of old and new. This was achieved by a strict assessment based on a variety learning activities, such as research work, physical modelling, reading and discussions and a final public presentation and exhibition from every student involved.
In order to give the perfect response to Lijiang’s development needs while still respecting the natural beauty and peculiar features of this UNESCO Heritage Site, the students visited this historic town and got familiar with their work demands, something that always plays a great role in desirable and reliable architecture. This helped them offer several conception projects that merged perfectly into the surrounding area and linked the architecture field to the aspects mentioned above. A whole new perspective on the lakeside was given and the context of “reason and emotion”, a constant interplay of Architect Menis’ works, was present in all of them.