URBANUS revitalizes and reorganizes ancient taoist temple in northern china
 

URBANUS revitalizes and reorganizes ancient taoist temple in northern china

in ruicheng, a county in china’s shanxi province, URBANUS has renovated a temple that was originally constructed in 831 AD. the structure is believed to be the oldest surviving taoist place of worship, and the second oldest from the tang dynasty. prior to its renovation, the ‘five dragons’ temple was relatively unknown and had few visitors despite its historical significance. recent advancements in agricultural technology meant that villagers no longer prayed for rain at the holy site — a societal change that left the structure somewhat abandoned.


the temple is located in ruicheng, a county in china’s shanxi province

 

 

china’s national cultural relics bureau started restoration of the temple in 2013, although the surrounding environment was left undeveloped. in 2015, vanke group asked URBANUS to lead a team of preservationists, landscape architects, and graphic designers to significantly improve the site’s overall conditions. the plan surrounds the temple with a series of overlapping spaces that document the region’s history in relation to ancient chinese architecture.


caves have been restored using a traditional rammed earth method

 

 

the site’s spring has been renovated, while several cave dwellings have been preserved to be used as shaded rest areas. the caves have been restored using a traditional rammed earth method, which has now been passed on to local workers. the original muddy path that led up the hill to the temple has been replaced with stone steps, with a series of ground-colored walls used to draw visitors towards the site’s focal point.


ground-colored walls draw visitors towards the focal point of the holy site

 

 

previously barren, the forecourt surrounding the temple has been activated through a reduction in its overall size. other programs now help occupy the space, with areas for mediation and observation joining various open-air exhibition halls behind new walls. importantly, the program seeks to restore the temple as an area of public gathering. ‘the sustenance of a cultural relic cannot simply rely on a singular village, but also the support of tourism, and special outreach to the public,’ say the architects.


stone paved paths lead to the temple


the forecourt has been activated through a reduction in its overall size


new areas have been conceived as open-air exhibition halls 


a secluded courtyard can be used for meditation


the program seeks to restore the temple as an area of public gathering


URBANUS led a team of preservationists, landscape architects, and graphic designers


the program documents the region’s history in relation to ancient chinese architecture


axonometric diagram


masterplan

 

 

project info:

 

architect: URBANUS
location: ruicheng city, shanxi province
design period: 2013-2015
construction period: 2015-2016
site area: 5,838 sqm
floor area: 267 sqm

 

principle architect: wang hui
team: zou dehua, du aihong, wen ting, anne van stijn, li xiaofen, li yongcai
client: the tourism cultural relics bureau of ruicheng city

 

exceutive team: ‘long plan’ group|ding changfeng, hou zhenghua, cao jiangwei, li xiaomei, dong lina, lv jiancang, zhang xiaokang, wang hui, han jiaying
construction documents collaborators:
architectural design and research institute of tsinghua university co.,ltd/cui guanghai, wang zhenming, wang yanan, wei lei, wang jing
structural engineer: zheng yu
water supply & drainage engineer: chen menghua
HVAC engineer: zhang dawei
electrical engineer: chen bing | loma landscape co., ltd/liu dapeng, wang shuo, guo fengzhi, ge xiang, an jing, bi linlin, liu likun
exhibition design: han jiaying design & associates co.,ltd|han jiaying, guan jiang, wang jun, li chengze, luo wenbin
photography: yang chaoying, jerry yin

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,672 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample