Being under construction for four years, the first International Bamboo Architecture Biennale opened in Baoxi, Longquan, China on 28th September 2016.
From many eyes, this is a project almost impossible, but it is accomplished despite all the hardships. The theme of the Biennale is to construct a countryside locally, in the form of art and architecture, discovering a path for sustainable development of Chinese countryside today. The everlasting Biennale has been growing in its unique way and continues to attract extensive attention globally.
The Biennale, which gathers 11 architects’ wisdom, is based on the material ‘bamboo’ and employ the rural village as space. The resulting venues have been integrated into the context of the countryside from the first day of construction, and have become a new life, force and culture of it.
For a long time, the dual structure of urban and rural areas has severely hampered the development of rural economic and cultural development. How to change the status quo to activate the countryside, the International Bamboo Architecture Biennale has given some answers:
Study the life, culture and customs of the place locally (‘on-site’);
Research and develop the adaptability and new usage of natural materials in the field;
Let renowned international architects design locally, experiencing from the bamboo building, rammed earth construction, stone processing to the daily life of rural areas, linking traditions to future.
Compared to urban construction, rural villagers are more familiar with local species and materials. Therefore, local materials are used to create ‘low-tech’ methods. Through villagers’ participation in construction and learning, they can re-recognise the good resources around them, such as bamboo, clay and stones. The spirit shown in the various works of the architects helps to enlighten the cultural identity of the people.
The place where the charismatic people live is attractive with hardly any exception. The charm of the site is actually due to the charm of people living on this land. In China, the history of Baoxi township is a history of dreams and aesthetics, interspersed within dimensions of different eras. At the moment, this context continues. Everything that happens today will become history - we all have a dream for our hometown and recreate the beauty of it.
Thanks to Qiantao GE, the initiator of the Biennale, for the original article and images.
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