• Blending the old and new to meet the needs of a community

    28 February 2019

    Under the impact of modern urbanisation, the decline of China’s rural areas has become an unavoidable reality. Founded in 2016 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Mix Architecture, led founding partners Zhou Suning, Tang Tao and Wu Ziyue, provides a diversified architectural design research studio. Based in the Yangtze River Delta the practice provides composite design services and an international vision of architecture, planning, interior and landscape design to address the needs of this rapidly changing social reality.

    In 2017 Mix Architecture was commissioned by Jiangshan Fishing Village in Gaochun, Nanjing to formulate a rural renewal plan that would address the cultural needs of its indigenous people in a modern era . The first phase of the renewal plan consisted of two parts, with the main focus being on the renovation and transformation of vacant old homes and the construction of rural public facilities. The team at Mix Architecture set out to retain the external appearance of the old village houses whilst emphasising the importance of regional characteristics and cultural heritage.

    With the implementation of disruptive functional replacement and spatial reconstruction, the conversion of one old house into a library became an important feature in the renewal plan. Within a gross built area of 385 square metres the central feature comes in the form of a bookcase wrapped in a patio and glass tea pavilion that faces out to the courtyard and provides a natural boundary between the interior and exterior. By introducing sunlight and nature into the dimly lit old houses, the vision was to create a centre piece for the village neighbourhood that would encourage communication and cultural blending.

    Completed early in 2018, the development also consists of rural public health facilities and two public toilets located in the groves at the entrance of the village. Mix Architecture decided to use the most basic forms of architecture and construction to ensure a simple yet modern aesthetic using minimal capital and regional construction methods. The tactical spacing of the buildings allows for effective ventilation and natural lighting, which has been warmly welcomed by the villagers.


    With the completion of the first phase of the development the community now has a central space for villagers to congregate and appreciate a new take on the functions of traditional old houses and new buildings. Originating from the archtitects’ view of the simplest life and cultural needs of the villagers, this lakeside village blends design and form with cultural and social significance. Mix Architects are at the forefront of a vision that we hope will encourage new developments away from the current ‘home-bust-style’ rural construction boom and become the beginning of a trend towards the renewal of expectations of rural revival in the practice of design.




    More Features
    Science Fiction, Glossy Reality
       A themed cinema space takes patrons on interstellar journey of light and sound that far exceeds the price of admission. At the time of its release in 2014, the Empire magazine review of Interstellar, starring spaceman Matthew McConaughey, called the feature film “brave, barmy and beautiful to behold”. No surprises that the future-focused, uber-creative Alexander Wong [...]
    Wise with water
    No one would disagree that fresh water is a scarce resource around the world. Over recent decades, the cost of water has surged and the problem is exacerbated in commercial environments. “At home, a tap in the bathroom may be used 10 times a day while in a commercial building, each tap in the washrooms may be used 1000 times daily,” states DELABIE Sales Director Asia, Sébastien Jeux. [...]
    Schotten & Hansen: Spreads its wings in new airport development
    Following the successful opening of Holz Selection’s new showroom earlier this year in Hong Kong’s Wanchai’s district, the specialist timber retailer and distributor chose to highlight its range of Schotten & Hansen’s bespoke products. One of the highlights of the modern and minimalist showroom, designed by New Zealand architect Eqo Leung of Architecturepublic, is Schotten & [...]
    Buro Happold Engineering reaffirms commitment to Asia
    In an exclusive interview with PRC Magazine, BuroHappold Engineering’s new Managing Director in Asia, Richard Marshall, said there’s never been a more exciting time to be working in the region. Asserting his vision for the company’s growth in Asia, Marshall – who joined the company in 1997 as a senior engineer at Buro Happold’s Kuala Lumpur office – took the helm last month, [...]
    Masters of the urban environment
    Benoy have a reputation for crafting exemplary retail-led environments. It’s their signature blend of smart design and even smarter science that creates a milieu where consumers feel as if they are royalty. It’s deluxe. First class. (Gala Avenue Westside, Shanghai) Until now, their lesser-known corporate chops have also included masterplanning. At Central Quay in Cardiff and Gala Avenue [...]
    The transformation of forlorn factory into community hub
    Since the policy of revitalising old industry buildings was introduced locally in 2010, the number of these properties being transformed into offices, hotels and retail spaces has increased. A recent example is the conversion of a 1966 factory building into Artisan Hub, a commercial development at 9 Luk Hop Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon. Adaptive reuse – changing the function of old [...]
    The best in show: A sustainable showcase
    Commerce and culture combine to create our selection of the best work from last year’s World Architecture Festival. This edit sees some of the best from the shortlists, in this editor’s selection. The work is varied and its purpose always variable, but the common element is the architects’ care for location and the broader environment. From immense emotional statement pieces in the [...]
    Mixing Culture and Context
    A mixed-use development, by its very nature, is one that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or entertainment uses, where various functions are physically and functionally integrated. Not only are these developments designed to take greater advantage of the land upon which they are built for more hours of each day and by more people than a single-use building would be [...]
    Delivering a long-term vision for a sustainable World
    As award-winning architect John Pauline settles into his new role as Managing Director & Design Principal at the Hong Kong office of renowned Miami-based architectural practice Arquitectonica, PRC showcases one of the most longawaited and most ambitious private projects in the modern history of Florida’s largest city. As the brainchild of the Miami subsidiary of Swire Properties, which [...]