Village as Kitchen of UABB / ZHOU Wei + ZHANG Bin / Atelier Z+

Village as Kitchen of UABB / ZHOU Wei + ZHANG Bin / Atelier Z+

Neither City Nor Village, As City As Village

3#/8# exhibition hall transformation is the architecture exhibition project of BI-CITY BIENNALE OF URBANISM\ARCHITECTURE (SHENZHEN) Yantian Sub-Venue: Village as Kitchen in this year. This year’s BI-CITY BIENNALE OF URBANISM\ARCHITECTURE regards Urban Village, the outcome of conflict and integration of urban and rural, as the venue. In the overlapping of urbanization from top to bottom and self-development from bottom to top, Urban Village becomes an unusual space, neither city nor village, as city and as village. This mixed space provides the more convenient, cheaper living space and service facilities for different communities.




Focusing on Village as Kitchen, our work is carried out in Dameisha Village, Yantian District with a method of phenomenon observation and space intervention. This theme brings daily household activities such as food and cooking to public activities and communications among communities. In traditional culture of Canton, cooking and diet activities shared in clan communities are always the carrier of communities’ publicity. They are especially more common during festivals, weddings and funerals. However, various local and outsider communities gather in Dameisha Village today, and there is certain estrangement in their social network. So we hope to promote community communication, revitalize publicity through our space practice.



Event Space, Daily Space
At the beginning of design, we take a particular interest in the following aspects. While artists, architects implant a temporary space phenomenon in Urban Village during exhibition period, we suggest that it should also bring a long-lasting influence on community renovation, neighborhood interaction and community integration. When we create event space, we are trying to make it both the sustainable daily life space for villagers after exhibition. We hope our space practice could be possible in both event and daily contexts.


Based on the question mentioned above, with limited resource, we organize two characteristic private house spaces in Dameisha Village and integrate art space with daily space. We associate construction behavior with the place, so that the construction can be embedded in its space-time vein. When the exhibition comes to an end, if these spaces can still operate in a long term, the publicity can also be arisen by villagers’ daily life, which will be a benign process.


One Intervention, One Section
We hope that our current work is able to get straight into the comprehensive history section of political economy, social humanity, geographical space and other aspects, where the relationship between history, present and future can be found, and the possibility to balance event and daily space can be discussed.


3# Children’s Playing House
Children’s playing house is a Hakka old house first built in the 1970s. After transformation, the house consists of art exhibition space and children participation space, these two spaces show stack-up and concatenation relationship. The daily space sequence is made up of public courtyard, outdoor stairs, second floor platform and children participation space. The event space represented by exhibition is located in the room on the first floor. At the same time, daily experience space can also be combined with event activities.

In the process of transformation, we dismantle the original non-bearing walls at first and reveal the basic space structures, some of which are reserved and teased. The original porch between ground floor and courtyard is reconstructed. In order to strengthen the publicity of porch, yard and stairs, a lightweight pergola of wood grid structure is designed additionally, plants can be planted on it, and it can be used as children climbing frame, visitors’ seat, as well as a separation of the large courtyard. It is connected with next courtyard and there is also some limitation.

The old house’s ground space is relatively closed and low, and we imbed a series of continuous prototype spatial sequence into it. There are six double-slope ceilings,every two of them meet at right angles. The space is further unitized by two triangle partition walls which make the exhibits partially hidden, giving rise to the visitors’ curiosity. The cornice of second-floor space is low and getting increasingly higher inwards. Exposed beam frames and tiles are reserved for roof. The indoor floor and the first-floor roof act in cooperation with each other. They are designed as partly ups and downs. In the earliest scheme, we intended to open an arch through two bays and design a house in house space for children. Finally, due to the limited costs, a collected inwards semitransparent house in house is built through the original door on the partition wall.


8# The Older’s Overlooking House
The older’s overlooking house is originally built in the 1980s. After transformation, the house consists of art exhibition space and daily village community public space; two spaces show the relationship of surrounding and being surrounded. The daily space sequence is made up of public courtyard, outdoor stairs, tea room on the second floor and stair theater on the roof deck. An exhibition space on the first floor and an artist studio on the second floor are event space, surrounding the public space.






On the basis of respecting the old house’s major structure, we reorganize the space. We integrate several small rooms which used to be rented separately into continuous exhibition units on the first floor. Also, the deciduous mosaic tiles are repaired, material texture of rammed earth wall is stripped, so that the new architecture space and the old historical remains are collocated, overlapped without priority order. In order to create indoor light atmosphere, high skylights are installed in the roof deck on the first and second floor, and the roof slopes serve as rest steps and theater. These daily spaces can also be combined with event activities. In our earliest scheme, continuous and vertical public space is designed for the middle bay on the first and second floor, directly connecting to the rooftop. Finally, due to limited reinforcing cost, roof steps are only constructed on the second floor. Standing on the rooftop and looking to the north, visitors can see Dameisha villages, resort area and fluctuant distant mountains from near to far side, complex city texture will unfolded before your eyes.


A Balance, A Starting Point
After the exhibition opens, with the rapid implantation of art exhibition, public activities, studio and other contents, we observe that some space phenomenon is being stimulated. While government, owners, architects, artists, operators and others cooperate cross boundary, intense game for space power is generated. Under this background, we think the heterogeneous space model formed by overlapping of different space types and demands may present more possibilities. We are trying to answer the questions of relationship between event and daily space, short term and long-lasting function. The power game on this platform is more likely to get a dynamic balance.

The heterogeneous space strategy is a contact agent and a starting point. We expect to lead and trigger some public phenomenon and activities through space; also, we expect to witness the continuous happening of community renovation, social symbiosis of Dameisha Village with government’s continuous guidance and owners’ positive feedback.


  • Architects

          ZHOU Wei + ZHANG Bin / Atelier Z+

  • Location
    Dameisha Village, Yantian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Architect in Charge
    Bin Zhang
  •  Area
    240.0 m2



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