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Global Architecture Platform

Wuyishan Bamboo Raft Factory

Xingcun Town, Wuyishan Mountain, Fujian, China, 2013

Located atop a plateau in the rural Xingcun village, the building complex is a manufacturing and storage facility of bamboo rafts, used to sail the nearby Nine Bend River in Wuyi Mountain for tourism. Each winter 22,000 bamboo stems are harvested which, following a storage period, are used to manufacture 1,800 bamboo rafts annually.

Its architecture and layout reflect distinct programmatic, topographical, and climatic requirements. The “L” shaped manufacturing workshop accommodates six fire areas for the bending of the bamboo and the assembling of rafts. The interior of the workshop is an open layout of 14 meters span required for the working space. Natural light is filtered through oblique skylights, which are oriented northward in order to get softer and homogeneous light. Aside from the working areas, the workshop houses resting spaces, storage rooms, restrooms, courtyards, and other service functions. The office and dormitory building adopts a veranda layout, with offices occupying the first floor, and dormitory and cafeteria occupying the second floor. Bamboo stalks are applied along the veranda to form shading louvers, which also provide well-ventilated insulation.

Considering the principle of localization and economy, in-situ concrete is used for the structure, hollow concrete blocks for the exterior wall system, cement tile for the roofing material, and bamboo and wood for the sunshading, doors, windows and handrails. Without overmuch surface finishing, all the materials present their own characters.

The industrial character of the project discourages superfluous design; by using the most basic elements for its construction, the architecture naturally reveals its structural and material logic. The project reconciles aesthetic simplicity with an economy of means, by which the architecture can demonstrate its resolution of form and function.


Author: HUA Li  / TAO (Trace Architecture Office)
Design Team : HUA Li, Elisabet Aguilar Palau, Zhang Jie, Laijing Zhu, Lai Erxun, Martino Aviles, Jiang Nan, Shi Weiwen, LianJunqin
Dates: Design 2011 – 2012 / Construction 2012 – 2013 (workshop, office and dormitory, storage unbuilt)
Client: WuyishanTourism Development Incorporated Company
Materials: in-situ concrete, hollow concrete blocks, cement tile, bamboo and wood
Site area: 14629 m²
Total floor area : 16000 m² (workshop 1519 m² / office and dormitory : 1059 m²)
Photographs: ©Su Shengliang

13.Mar.2019 2599 views

TAO (Trace Architecture Office) was founded by architect HUA Li In 2009, and is based in Beijing. Hua Li (1972) received his B.Arch. Degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing in 1994 and M. Arch. Degree from Yale University in 1999. He has practiced in New York until 2003 when he moved back to China and started his own practice. Hua Li and TAO has won several important architectural awards including ARCASIA Award, shortlisted in Aga Kahn Award 2013, nominated in BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2016 & 2018, Architectural Record GDGB Award, China Architecture Media Award and WA Award, and TAO was listed in Design Vanguard 2012 by Architectural Record Magazine. HUA Li also teaches at Tsinghua University as a visiting professor and has been a guest critic for studio reviews at ETH, HKU, CAFA and UdK Berlin.

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