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LUO studio Reused Wood Waste from Old Village Houses to Create a Pergola Structure in Hebei, China
China Architecture News - Jan 3, 2019 - 03:49 3300 views
Last time, the Beijing based LUO studio has used general timbers to create a universally-used sales center that can be completely dismantled and reused. Few months later, the studio reutilized wood waste from old village houses to create a pergola structure for the local residents as a place to rest, relax and take shade. This is another good example of efficient use of wood materials.
Aerial view of the road. Image © Jin Weiqi
Aerial view of the northwest corner. Image © Jin Weiqi
Wood waste remained from demolition and construction
Located at Longquanguan Town, Fuping County, Hebei, Luotuowan Village borders Shanxi Province, at the foot of the north side of Taihang Mountains. Surrounding mountains resulted in poor transportation to the village, which held back the village’s economic development and caused an increasing number of dilapidated houses. In recent years, however, the local government has allocated plenty of financial and material resources to renovate and construct houses in the village and help it shake off poverty. After unremitting efforts, quality of villagers’ life has been gradually improved.
Kids playing under the pergola. Image © Jin Weiqi
Kids running under the pergola. Image © Jin Weiqi
Before the renovation, villagers were allowed to choose a traditional wooden roof or roof made of cast-in-situ concrete for the house. The latter solution was more preferred because it was easier to implement and most of residents here were middle-aged and elderly people. During the village revamping process, a large number of wooden beams and rafters were dismantled and left over.
Previously, the wood waste had been used to make a fire for heating and cooking. But in these days, due to the call for ecological environment protection and forest fire prevention as well as the fact that air source heat pumps and gas equipment for cooking were introduced into the village, the dismantled woods of various sizes were left unused.
Kids sitting on the stone pier. Image © Jin Weiqi
Kids skipping ropes under the pergola. Image © Jin Weiqi
Shade pergola over the scarp
"The village was built through reclamation of mountain and wasteland, so there were many slope protection structures and scarps. Villagers intended to have a shade pergola over a long scarp with cement column piers along both sides, for them to have a rest in the shade. According to the original plan, heavy square steel bars and large timbers were identified as main construction materials, which needed to be purchased and transported from the faraway county or city markets and required a professional construction team and utilization of crane. And flat area at the site was too narrow to operate heavy machinery, which meant it was dangerous for people and livestock once accidents occurred. When we happened to see design drawings of this project, we suggested to work out a simpler and more convenient solution for construction," Mr. Luo Yujie, the founder of LUO studio explained.
Light and shadow at noon. Image © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the mountain. Image © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the south entrance. Image © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the north. Image © Jin Weiqi
Dymaxion & best use of materials
Richard Buckminster Fuller summed up his concept on technology and human development: “dymaxion”, which means maximum gain of advantage from minimal energy input. As for construction activities, “dymaxion” can be interpreted as “building the largest space and the most solid structure with minimal material use”.
The design philosophy of “dymaxion” actually resonates with the concept of rural construction. Nowadays, many Chinese villages present a unique built landscape, which was created by generations of villagers who had the wisdom to make use of local materials and maximize functions with minimal input.
People walking under the pergola. Image © Jin Weiqi
Pergola interiors. Image © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the interiors. Image © Jin Weiqi
"Materials for construction units were designed as small as possible, so that more wood waste could be reused and the construction work could be carried out by villagers themselves. Wooden rod units constitute the structural system, which enhances stability and obtains a larger space. The structure features grids that improve its performance in withstanding forces of nature, hence ensuring greater safety for a long period of use. With such construction scheme, we saved costs and improved efficiency," explained the firm.
Night view. Image © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the northwest corner. Image © Jin Weiqi
Night view. Image © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the southwest side. Image © Jin Weiqi
Conforming to wood materials is following nature
The firm added that "we kept varying lengths of wood materials, and worked to create a structure that is well integrated with the surrounding mountains. Wooden rods were reclaimed from demolished houses of various depths, so the lengths of these woods were different. We didn’t cut or lengthen any wooden rod. Instead, we took into account the tolerance of length variation and ingeniously arranged the position of each wooden unit. In this way, a flexible pergola structure which conforms to materials as well as the mountainous surroundings was created."
Process of combing the components. Image © LUO studio
Villagers are processing the discarded wood. Image © LUO studio
Analysis of the wood waste. Image © LUO studio
Contrastive analysis. Image © LUO studio
Construction details. Image © LUO studio
Axonometric drawing. Image © LUO studio
General floor plan. Image © LUO studio
Elevation of the road. Image © LUO studio
Design team: LUO studio
Chief designer: Luo Yujie
Participating designer: Lu Zhuojian
On-site designers: Wang Zhenqi, Li Mingchu, Wei Wenjing
Project location: Luotuowan Village, Longquanwan Towm, Fuping County, Hebei Province, China
Construction area: 274.3 m2
Photographer: Jin Weiqi
Design time: December 2016
Completion time: September 2018
Top image © Jin Weiqi
> via LUO studio