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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

THE PINCH in Yunnan Province, China by Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

 
October 21st, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

THE PINCH is a library and community center in Shuanghe Village, Yunnan Province, China. The project is part of a government led reconstruction effort after an earthquake in Sept 2012. The majority of village houses were destroyed, leaving the residents living in tents for up to one year. After the earthquake the government has sponsored new concrete and brick houses and a large central plaza. During the first site visit, the houses remained incomplete and the plaza was a large empty site.

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

  • Architects: Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong
  • Project: THE PINCH
  • Location: Shuanghe Village, Yunnan Province, China
  • Software used: Rhino
  • Construction: Kunming Dianmuju Shangmao Company
  • Funding: Supported by the Knowledge Exchange Impact Award, HKU
  • Project Team: Crystal Kwan (Project Manager), Ashley Hinchcliffe, Connie Cheng, Johnny Cullinan, Jacky Huang, Joyce Ip, Yvonne Xu Meng
  • Date: September 2012 – April 2014
  • Size: 80 sqm
  • Cost: 130,000 rmb
  • Unit Cost: 1600 rmb/sqm

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong decided to sponsor the design and implementation of a new library building. Located in the new but empty public plaza, it would serve to activate the community and provide a physical memorial for the event. The site of the library is against a 4 meter high retaining wall. The design spans across this level difference and acts as a bridge between the rebuilt village and the new memorial plaza. Emphasizing its location in a remote mountain valley, the design responds visually to the space of the valley, offering stunning views across a dramatic double curved roof. The structure itself rises to a peak, a monument to the earthquake and rebuilding effort.

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

As a Knowledge Exchange Project, the construction involves collaboration with a local timber manufacturing factory. The process resulted in the development of a surprisingly diverse form through simple means. A series of trusses is anchored between the upper road level and lower plaza level. The form of each truss changes to create both a gradual incline (to bring people down) and then a sharp upward pitch (to elevate the roof). The trusses were covered in an aluminium waterproofing layer and timber decking. On the interior, the trusses extend downward to support a floating bookshelf. Simple traditional school benches are used as chairs.

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

The polycarbonate doors can open to create a completely open space extending out to the plaza Rather than submitting to the abandonment of wood construction (as with the houses after the earthquake), the project reasserts the ability to build contemporary timber structures in remote areas of China.

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

Image Courtesy © Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin / The University of Hong Kong

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Categories: Community Centre, Library, Rhinoceros

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