AZL architects completes kiln building in china with concrete arches and brick

AZL architects completes kiln building in china with concrete arches and brick

located in fuliang’s qiancheng village, jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of china, the bingding wood kiln by AZL architects breaths new life into a nearly 2,000 year-old craftsmanship at the brink of extinction. the project consists of the egg-shaped wood kiln, and the concrete structure that encloses it, whose arched façade is built as a reference to the kiln’s brick arch structure.

AZL architects completes kiln building in china with concrete arches and brickall images by yao li



the jingdezhen wood kiln is named after the locals’ preference of using the chinese ‘horsetail’ red pine wood as a form of fuel, and has been the symbol of the industry for nearly 2,000 years. like any traditional craftsmanship that has survived over more than one millennium’s history, it is suffering from the impact of modern technology and new ways of firing and may soon be facing extinction. at present day, the construction technology for an egg-shaped wood kiln is only inherited by the 70-year-old mr. yu hezhu and his three or four apprentices, while such construction can only be based on experience, since there are no blueprints for reference during the entire process, nor any written documents existing so far.



surrounded by mountains and bamboo forests in a tranquil environment, the design of AZL architects revolves around the kiln as the core, coupled with the configuration of the streamlined and parallel production axis and observation axis. the building surrounding it adopts concrete arches on its exterior, similar to those of the kiln structure, and is complete with top light belts, wall windows, and floor vertical joints, all of which are directed to the central axis of the kiln.



the production lines of the building are mainly located on the ground floor, including the front platform and the steps on the two sides of the stairs, which are largely used during the filling, calcining, and opening of the kiln, operated by more than 30 specialized workers. the rooms near the exterior windows on the two sides of the ground floor are used for daily work like glazing, moulding, polishing, enameling, saggering, and porcelain storage.



the bingding wood kiln is built to accommodate the many visitors entering and participating in the entire porcelain firing process, while an observation axis on the second floor encircles the building, so that the vivid spatial relationship between the entire structure and kiln can be perceived from different angles. the entire project is created as a ceremonial space, where workers have a sense of pride in their work, and where a strong sense of awe towards the traditional crafting technique can be felt by the visitors.



concrete formwork of the building is not fixed by ordinary mounting bolt, but rather supported by the steel structures outside the concrete form for casting. in addition to the fair-faced concrete, the main material of bingding wood kiln is only brick, used also in the arched window holes above the second floor, where patterns of light and shadows are formed through the brick lattice.



project info:


name: bingding wood kiln

architect: AZL architects

location: jingdezhen, jiangxi province

client: bingding wood kiln

lead architect: zhang lei

design team: zhang lei, zhang xue

site area: 3300 m2

floor area: 1800 m2

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