China story of countryside architecture design showcased in Germany

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-20 19:56:04|Editor: pengying
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BERLIN, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The story of how a Chinese mountainous county, Songyang county in Zhejiang province, revitalized its villages through introduction of modern architecture is currently in exhibition at Berlin-based Aedes Architecture Forum.

The exhibition under the name "Rural moves-the Songyang story", lasting from March 17 to June 17, showcased models and photographs featuring the Chinese architect Xu Tiantian's project in Songyang county.

Xu told Xinhua on Tuesday, "the project is a case where architectures were designed to be engines for rural development and social development at large", adding she believed that's what her European fellow architects are interested in.

Xu said the exhibition will later tour to Austria and Italy.

In less than four years, Xu, in cooperation with local government, has built series of aesthetic public buildings in Songyang, including a museum, a teahouse, a bridge, among other buildings, and refurbished local clay residential houses for hospitality uses.

She adopted local building materials and integrated local landscape and residents' needs with her architectural design.

Later on, Songyang, with many villages locked up in mountainous areas but also a beautiful landscape, was able to attract visitors from elsewhere for leisure and recreation.

As in one case, the Brown Sugar Factory became not only a venue for age-old practices of brown sugar production, but also an attraction for visitors with its scenic surroundings, artistic buildings and unobstructed view of the processes.

Eduard Koegel, curator for the exhibition, told Xinhua that rural problems in the process of urbanization are not unique to China, therefore, they merit greater attention from the architecture community.

"The case of Songyang revitalizing its villages through architecture design could be a model case for other countries," Koegel said, adding people in Germany are already familiar with China's urban development, but know little about its rural development, whereas the exhibition offered an opportunity to learn about what is going on in China's rural areas.

The Aedes Architecture Forum, established in 1980, is an independent institution and exhibition space for the international communication of contemporary architecture and urban design.

Songyang is a county in the southeast of Zhejiang province with more than 400 villages and about 240,000 inhabitants. High-speed trains and new expressways have made the county easily accessible from the provincial capital Hangzhou, and the metropolis Shanghai.