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Rural Urban Framework : Jintai Village

Four years after the terrible earthquake that hit the Sichuan region (China), Rural Urban Framework, a group of research and collaborative design, imagines alternative solutions for the reconstruction of destroyed villages. In Jintai, the association is trying to recreate the local way of life in a covered hall and growing areas on the roofs of 26 dwellings.

The country's most destructive natural disaster since 40 years ago, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a magnitude of 8,3 on the Richter scale, has left nearly 4,8 million homeless. In 2012, the international non-profit organization Rural Urban Framework, specializing in reconstruction projects, seizes the subject and decides to intervene in a municipality largely ravaged by the disaster. He then examines the question of the vernacular ways of life of villagers whose livelihood depends on agriculture. Their challenges: to create a link between people through adapted urban planning and to install new dwellings on the only building plot in the area, located on sloping land with an area of ​​only 4 000 square meters.

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The architects respond to this problem by creating curious houses with terraced roofs, reminiscent of the reliefs of the surrounding mountains, where are arranged gardens and vegetable gardens, essential to the lives of the inhabitants. 26 dwellings ranging from two to three levels, sometimes shared by several families, consist of a concrete column-beam structure and a mud brick fill. Their checkerboard layout reproduces the atmosphere of the narrow and winding streets of the villages of the region. The succession of entrance porches placed on the ground floor also allows residents to appropriate the outdoor spaces, to enjoy the animation of alleys, create shelters for farmyard animals or develop small additional growing areas. To the north, overhanging buildings, a vast courtyard offers to all a place of meeting, attached to 150 square meters of plantations.

This vertical village thus functions as an ecosystem, while offering its residents a breathtaking view of the foggy mountains of the valley.

An urban and architectural project, original and exemplary, respectful of the standards of life of this Chinese province.

To learn more, visit the Rural Urban Framework website
Photographs: Rural Urban Framework

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