Turenscape Academy welcomed EPFL Masters Architecture Studio to Xixinan, Anhui, China from Feb 2-7, 2018. Led by Prof.
Turenscape Academy welcomed EPFL Masters Architecture Studio to Xixinan, Anhui, China from Feb 2-7, 2018. Led by Prof. Jeffrey Huang and Ph.D. researchers, students completed their studio work on ‘Rural Return’. Rural Return reflects the reverse migration of China’s urbanized villagers back to their rural homes and the growing interest of China’s urbanites in rural history and ‘Back-to-Nature’ lifestyle.
The Xixinan studio used advanced digital mapping technique for researching the village, and generated architectural interventions that permit the flourishing of a new rural and sustainable lifestyle. Some interventions suggested included a Teahouse, a Public Bath, a Community Kitchen and a Meditative Island. Students had hands-on experience capturing 360-degree photos of their sites as well as interacting with villagers about the impact of Rural Return.
Green Spaces In Xixinan
Analysis of the roads in Xixinan
Analysis of Paths Network in Xixinan
▲Photo credit: EPFL
In Xixinan, EPFL students explored the Grand Old Pavilion, a Ming Dynasty architectural marvel, the Orchard, the bamboo forest, and well as visited a 30-year old, Toufu-making cottage industry. With Chinese New Year approaching, they got to visit another home-run Hui candy making business.
Turenscape Academy has provided the impetus for younger urbanized villagers to return to their village. Many have found employment at Hetianli Hotel and Turenscape Academy in Xixinan, reflecting the Rural Return movement.
Rural returnees employed at Hetianli Hotel and Turenscape Academy.
Students also enjoyed a fun pottery lesson with their instructor, a rural returnee, who only recently tapped her hidden potential in ceramic creation. She was trained by Turenscape Academy, Head of Art, Ying Muncy.
Pottery lesson instructor
Enjoying a fun pottery lesson
Besides touring Xixinan, EPFL students also enjoyed the unique experience of visiting ancient villages full of beautiful Hui architecture including UNESCO heritage site in Hong Cun 宏村, Chengkan and hiking up the Yellow Mountains.
Rural Return started as a studio in Lausanne, Switzerland but ended with heart-warming stories of real people who have returned to Xixinan, China. This is just the beginning of sustainable reverse migration as Turenscape offers more opportunities for urbanized villagers to return home through viable employment in other villages.
Turenscape Academy would like to wish everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year!
Turenscape Academy (TA) is an international institution focusing on sustainable design training in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urbanism and Art & Design. Established in 2015, TA is spearheaded by Dr. Kongjian Yu (Harvard GSD), founder of Turenscape, Peking University College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Dean and member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
TA’s mission is in the service of cities, landscapes and settlements to become green. Its integrated design approach embraces environmental dynamics, agricultural practices, rural ecology, cultural riches, sociology and other disciplinary arenas. TA’s philosophy of learning through active participation or Learning by Doing encourages students to creatively and practically engage these important challenges.
As an innovative studio-based model, TA provides a clear alternative to traditional design education. The interdisciplinary collaboration fostered at TA is seen as a catalyst for dialogue and dissemination through symposiums, conferences, workshops, publications, site interventions, exhibitions and other events.
International Steering Committee
Design-Build Worskshop: CompositeBamboo and Concrete Shell Structures
Design-Build Workshop: Air Cast Concrete
Sponge City Workshop
University of SouthernCalifornia (USC) Asian Architecture & Landscape Urbanism Workshop
Harvard GSD GEODESIGN HUB Workshop
Art & Design
Glass Reinforced Plastic UrbanFurniture
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge MA
University of Pennsylvania, Penn Design, Philadelphia
University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, New York
University of Hong Kong
National Taipei University of Technology
Feng Chia University
The Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
University of Southern California USC, Los Angeles
Peking University College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Beijing
Landscape Architecture Frontiers, Beijing
Our residential campus is located in Xixinan, a heritage village located near the beautiful Huangshan Mountains (Yellow Mountains), in Anhui province, China. South of Beijing and west of Shanghai, Xixinan’s unique tranquil landscape enables visitors to gain a good understanding of the village’s local life, culture, ancient fabric, and well-preserved ecological environment.
Xixinan (西溪南) refers to the village south of the western brook. It is an untouched village that goes back 1,200 years and well known as the hub where great artists, poets and calligraphers once assembled. Attracted by the natural beauty, Ming Dynasty calligrapher, Zhu Zhishan (1460-1526) and Qing Dynasty Chinese landscape painter and poet, Shi Tao (1642-1707) were known to have resided in Xixinan and drawn their inspiration from the tranquil, picturesque village.
Other attractions at Xixinan include the Grand Old Pavilion, a Ming Dynasty architectural marvel. It has recently been declared as one of China’s key cultural relics. While visiting Xixinan, you may explore and experience the nearby Yellow Mountains and Huizhou countryside, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites, which are rich in architectural heritage, cultural landscapes, and natural beauty.
Located in the heart of Xixinan village, Turenscape Academy occupies a series of heritage buildings, including former factories, schools, administrative buildings, and grain warehouses. These remnants have been creatively converted to include:
Spacious Classrooms and Workshop Spaces
Internal and External Studios for teaching and learning purposes
Exhibition and Gallery spaces
Ceramic Workshop and Showroom
Electric Firing Kiln
On-site residential accommodation & restaurant
The spaces of TA are available for visits by groups for short workshops; longer-term studios and research projects; professional training courses; and retreats by companies and organisations.
▲ Hetianli Hotel
303-3, Peking University Science Park, 127-1 Zhongguancun North Street, Haidian
No.96 Zhong Street, Xixinan Town, Huizhou District,
Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China