历史 | The History
Duichuan Village, once named Dui Village, got the name from the original settlement of Huangs and Xies during Ming dynasty: these two families situated themselves on the westmost and eastmost edge of the village. Since first built and inaugurated in 1951, Duichuan Tea Yards went through three times of name change till it settle with the name as it is now. The tea factory was one of the most productive tea yards in the Pearl River Delta region, the Duichuan Tea produced was in fashion for a while and got exported to Hong Kong, Macao and Southeast Asia. Duichuan Tea Yard situates along the hill, among the lakes, amidst prominent scenery. The existing tea yard spans over 300 acres, with Triassic acid red soil which is naturally nutriented for tea growth. The terrain is dominated by gently sloped small hills, with an average height of 33.6 meters. Inside the tea yard there is a 33 hectares reservoir wraps around the hill. After the year 2000, the market gets diversified, and the output and sales of Duichuan Tea began to decline, which ultimately leads to the abandonment of the yard.
▼建筑与环境，the building and the surroundings ©张超
现场 | The Place
▼改造前照片，original photos ©源计划建筑师事务所
▼改造前后对比，axon before and after renovation ©源计划建筑师事务所
In the midsummer of 2017, we thread through rows of bungalows attaching to the main tourist area, arriving at a small island in the center of the original artificial reservoir. The three multi-storey factories built in the 1980s are the largest building blocks on the island. To the south of the factories are several low-rise red brick houses hidden in dense forests where those early tea factory workers lived. The three factories are roughly symmetrical along the east-west axis. The westmost factory has the largest volume, which had obviously gone through expansion during the heyday of the tea farm. This linearly arranged community inserted diagonally into the tea-island plantation. The factory buildings are all three to four-story half-frame structures, its’ washed granolithic wall and thin steel windows seems to be a reminiscence of the time of childhood. The two factories at front have long been abandoned. Standing on the rooftop of these factory buildings, a panoramic view of the small island and the large tea garden along with the waterfront on the north side could be seen.
▼改造后的对川茶庄园，the project after renovation ©吴嗣铭
▼近景，closer view of the project ©张超
问茶 | Tea-scape
Modern society tends to make a strong distinction between various organic components of production and living, to dissect and separate so as they get objectified and instrumentalized. The relationship between these organic parts need to be re-established for the revival of tea islands and local tea culture, which also serve as an opportunity to reorganize the functions and activities in the current vacant factory spaces. This space should not be regarded as a man-made object isolated from the natural environment, but the remanent of an organic connection between production and everyday living, inking to the surrounding tea gardens, which accidently got left out during modernization yet still with some liveliness inside. Therefore, the spatial revival should be established by re-writing a homage to the past production and craftsmanship; to the architect means that we need to re-emphasize the inner integrity, strengthening the organic connection between indoor production and outdoor plantation, and thus to imbibe the observer with these past experiences.
▼侧立面，lateral facade ©黄城强
We tried to find a simple spatial prototype for the reconstruction of the above-mentioned site to load the envisioned cultural settlement. After several rounds of dialectical exploration of the original site, the design gradually approached a concept of the mixture of “pavilion” and “podium”. We tried to evolve the prototype of the “Pavilion” into a settlement that encompasses production and detour.
▼石台砌筑 & 竹亭构造，masonry of the podium & construction of the pavilion ©源计划建筑师事务所
We’ve selected black granite from the south (attached to a reinforced concrete structure) to build a podium, a “viewing platform” that surrounds the original factory complex at the ground level. The porous platform reorganized and redefined the relationship between internal production and natural plantation. Inside is the cultural and public space exhibited by “Tea-scape” as a showcase of the continuation of the original tea production. On the outside are those restored tea plantations and forests, a platform above to appreciate the sceneries, whilst the landscape gets interspersed by suspended tea gallery.
▼黑色花岗石“景台”，the “viewing platform” made of black granite ©张超
▼景台外部视角，external view ©张超
▼景台中的走廊，corridor in the podium ©张超
▼景台上的平台，platform above the podium ©黄城强
▼景台内侧，inside view ©张超
▼庭院，tea garden ©张超
▼茶室，tea room ©张超
▼展览区，exhibition area ©（上）黄城强，（下）张超
the contrast between concrete and glass
By using bamboo poles, we’ve wove a stream of “hanging garden” on top of the three factories, and thus constructed four rooftop gardens with different scales, turning the originally separated rooftop spaces into a set of interconnected courtyards in the sky, allowing the visitor to meander and breath in the view of the tea yards form an angle that is high up in the air. This courtyard organization naturally extends downward to several corner stairs and thus get connected to the stone viewing platform. This connection creates a vertical yet horizontal promenade that wraps around the original production space. We hope this tour can evoke a sense of “In search of the lost time” at the same time act as a response against the rapid industrialization of modern urban and rural areas.
▼景台与竹亭的关系，the relationship between the podium and the pavilion ©吴嗣铭
▼从景台望向竹亭，the pavilion from the podium ©吴嗣铭
▼尺度不同的屋面庭院，the rooftop gardens with different scales ©黄城强
▼屋面庭院夜景，night view of the rooftop gardens ©吴嗣铭
▼透过竹亭望向远山，distant mountains through the pavilion ©吴嗣铭
望乡 | Geography of “home”
Hometown and foreign town are constantly recurring paradoxical issues in the rapidly evolving Pearl River Delta region. As a model for the integration of large-scale private local enterprise and traditional state-owned industries in the Pearl River Delta region, the reconstruction project of Duichuan Tea Yard aim to complete a transition and transformation between the two. The on time-onsite construction restores the monumentalism of the site and its past, at the same time creates a kind of landscape geography belonging to the present. It cherishes nostalgia, reconstructs the hometown, continues local traditions and production, while delineating the scenery across.
▼制茶区，production area ©张超
▼庭院夜景，courtyard by night ©吴嗣铭
▼外观夜景，external view by night ©吴嗣铭
▼一层平面图，1F plan ©源计划建筑师事务所
▼二层平面图，2F plan ©源计划建筑师事务所
▼三层平面图，3F plan ©源计划建筑师事务所
▼四层平面图，4F plan ©源计划建筑师事务所
标识设计：广州哲外艺术设计有限公司 TheWhy art x design
Project Name: (Re)forming Duichuan Tea Yards
Architect: O-office Architects
Design Team: He Jianxiang, Jiang Ying, Dong Jingyu, Huang Chengqiang, Zhang Wanyi, Cai Lehuan, Wu Yifei, He Zhenzhong, He Wenkang, Peng Weisen
Structural Consultant: Situ Ying, Luo Qiyao, Luo Jiajie
M.E. Consultant: Bun Cong M&E Design
V.I. Design: TheWhy art x design
Project Location: Gaoming, Foshan, Guangdong Province, China
Client: Midea Group
Gross Built Area: 5477 sqm
Photographer: Zhang Chao, Huang Chengqiang, Wu Siming