The site is located in a historic city- Shaoxing City, China. The terrain of Shaoxing is higher in the south and lower in the north, which created many river lanes and bridges in the city. In addition to the awning boats, the rice wine and the euphemistic Shaoxing opera is also well known. In Chinese history, most of scholars and poets were born in this city, we define it a poetic and romantic city.
The most representative of Shaoxing literati is the “bistro”-whether it is now or past, people are willing to stay there. The project aims to integrate culture and natural things, and convey the urban culture through the natural forms.
In the current discourse, living comfortable in cities are dominate topics. The design concept for the riverside community focuses on these current themes and develops these with a cultural landscape perspective. The landscape strategy based on local and spiritual construction activities: walking by water alleys and lotus ponds, and stepping on the stone steps, and drinking in the bistro in the end of alley. We strategically aimed at the careful incorporation of new accents, in order to highlight the historical identity with this urban residential area.
The community is alongside a river, and there is a bistro in the corner of the community, works as a connection of the residential area and urban environment. From front area, the stone paving where geometry from the old Shaoxing context, and the lotus pond surrounds the bistro building. The local rough stone is used as the wall material and the moss grew naturally from the gap.
Although the spatial scale and material form of the front field reproduce the history and memory of Shaoxing city, the design is not limited to style, but interprets the life scene in Shaoxing, and the re-enactment of culture is full of vitality and flexibility.
The basis for this project is the unique spatial location of the riverside. We build a bridge to connect the bistro and residential part. The riverside park is developed as the scene for urban life here. The protected and magnificent trees along the river has been integrated into the design and its historical composition served as an inspiration for the new layout. For the riverside area, the project seeks to unify the space as a continuous condition in which old and new elements and materials meet to accommodate the scale of the individual experience and the life of the community. The approach gives precedence both to the strength of the historical context and to the public use of these space.
The method of construction, in terms of locality, contemporaryness, art, technology, such a contrasting expression, constructs contemporary orientalism.
We often say that culture and spiritual connotation are metaphysical, but for cities, the cultural foundation of the city must be metaphysical, which supports the continuation of the cultural context under the development of the city and the preservation of the original traces of local life and natural growth.
Photography: Bing Lu / Moshang
Project location: Yuecheng District, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province, China
Design year: 2020
Year Built: 2021