insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers
 

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers

situated in the sichuan province of china, insitu project has designed and constructed the miaoxia village community guesthouse as a cooperative enterprise to generate revenue for the local population. due to declining incomes from farming, the area has been left impoverished, with the majority of working age people leaving to find better employment. in an effort to attract visitors to the village, insitu had previously built a community kitchen in 2015. this new project however, aims to provide accommodation and improved sanitary conditions, to allow large groups of tourists to stay for longer periods of time.

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

the miaoxia community guesthouse overlooking the village

all images courtesy of insitu project

 

 

the project by insitu sees the renovation of an existing timber-framed house and the construction of a new extension to accommodate 20 or more people. during the process, villagers participated in the conceptualisation, design, and construction of the building and waste treatment systems, engaging over 70 elderly villagers and 12 volunteers over 6 months. the program in total covers an area of 3444 ft2 (320 m2) and comprises of six guest dormitories, spaces for disaster preparedness training, a social workers’ office, a tea room, activity spaces for children, and bathroom and laundry amenities.

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

the old and new elevations meet at the internal courtyard

 

 

the extension has been formed to create an L-shaped courtyard, linking the new intervention with the existing structure and resembling the traditional courtyard typology of the village. the construction of the building employs a ‘through-type’ chinese timber structure, where transverse frames connect rectangular tie beams using mortise and tenon joints for lateral stability. this offers advantages for earthquake prone houses, resulting in tilting but rarely outright collapse. in addition, the timber structure sits on stone foundation blocks that allow the structure to move in case of an earthquake.

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

construction image of the ground floor corridor

 

 

each transverse frame of the extension is uniquely fabricated, resulting in an asymmetrical roofline which maintains a modest profile at the connection with the existing building but a more open and expressive façade to the public square on the other side. insitu project created physical models to assist in the process of designing the structural system and to facilitate discussions with the master carpenters. in keeping with the collaborative approach, semi-traditional timber construction methods have been specified to revitalize declining skills, complement the surrounding architecture, and create a more sustainable development by using renewable resources.

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

timber frames assembled on site

 

 

a low-tech community septic tank deals with sewerage waste from 6 houses and the guesthouse, this will fertilize a community orchard (to be completed in 2019) providing low-tech waste management and helping upgrade the village towards sustainable development. all of the funding for the community guesthouse has been sourced from charitable donations, with the total construction cost amounting to $40,000.

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

erecting the timber frames one by one

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

villagers actively participated in the construction process

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom
a 1:40 scale structural study model built on site

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom
spatial diagram of the guesthouse

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom

ground floor plan

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom
upper floor plan

insitu project builds a community guesthouse in china with the help of local villagers designboom
the scheme introduces a diagonal roof ridge to challenge conventional construction practices and to achieve a variety of spatial qualities under the roof

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘miaoxia community guesthouse’

project location: miaoxia village, sichuan province, china

design team: insitu project, peter hasdell, kuo jze yi, tan ming, clarence ku

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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